House may ask ex-lawmaker to pay back taxpayers for hotel stays

SALT LAKE CITY — In the aftermath of claims that a former state lawmaker paid a prostitute for sex, the Utah House of Representatives said it may ask him to repay a reimbursement for a couple of nights in a hotel.

Receipts from those stays were provided to FOX 13 on Friday. The Utah State Legislature is examining if they may coincide with text messages purportedly from Rep. Jon Stanard to an escort, Brie Taylor, that were published in The Daily Mail. She claimed to the tabloid that the text messages arranged sexual encounters.

Lawmakers are given stipends for their service, as well as hotel costs if they travel from rural areas to conduct legislative business. The state does not require them to submit itemized receipts for what they do with those funds.

“If the allegations prove to be true, we may request he reimburse the State for any hotel payments that we can match up,” said Greg Hartley, the chief of staff for House Speaker Greg Hughes.

Stanard resigned abruptly earlier this week, and the House said it was for “personal and family reasons.” He has not returned messages seeking comment.

The House said it would not seek an ethics investigation (Stanard is no longer in office) and no criminal charges have been filed.