Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes steps down from Inland Port Authority Board

House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, at the inland port meeting. (Image by Eric Brown, FOX 13 News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes (R-Draper) has stepped down from his position on the new Inland Port Authority Board.

Hughes was a member of the board, though none of its members had been officially empaneled.

In its inaugural meeting on June 18, the Inland Port Authority board was forced to adjourn due to there being no members who were empaneled, causing any action the board took to be illegal under Utah public meeting laws.

“We appreciate Speaker Hughes’ desire to have a successful inland port in Utah,” Utah Governor Gary Herbert wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “We respect his decision to step aside from the Inland Port Authority Board at this time.”

The inland port has been called the largest economic development project in Utah’s history.

The port will be located in Salt Lake City’s Northwest Quadrant and could include massive new developments including a UPS hub and Amazon’s fulfillment center. The entire project could yield billions of dollars for Utah.

Representative Francis Gibson (R-Mapleton) was chosen as Hughes’ replacement on board.

“I never wanted to be my opponents best weapon against the inland port,” Hughes told Fox 13. “I know Rep. Gibson will do a phenomenal job on the board.”

“Representative Francis Gibson is a strong choice to serve on the Inland Port Board,” Herbert wrote.  “We look forward to his contributions on this team effort to better connect Utah to global commerce.”