Senate committee confirms new Utah liquor control commissioner

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee has confirmed a new member of Utah’s powerful alcohol control commission.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the Senate’s Business and Labor Confirmation Committee unanimously approved Stanley B. Parrish to serve on the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. He was nominated by Governor Gary Herbert.

Parrish, who served in economic development under Gov. Norm Bangerter and has served as president of the Salt Lake Chamber and the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, recently returned from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In an interview with FOX 13 after his confirmation, he acknowledged he does not drink.

“I don’t think you have to have open heart surgery to be a heart surgeon,” he said. “I feel like I can clearly understand the issues and I’m a lot more concerned about business practices and the fairness of the commission.”

Senators praised Parrish’s experience. Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said his business experience was what she wanted.

“This is a business. You run the alcohol business for the state of Utah and it produces millions and millions and millions. I appreciate your journey,” she told him. “What we need is someone who has common sense and you have that. Someone who knows what works, what doesn’t work. That’s what we need.”

Parrish replaces Associated Foods CEO Neal Berube, who quit after declaring conflicts of interest between his day job and a licensing issue that has emerged for grocery and convenience stores that sell beer. Under a law passed last year, every store must be licensed by the DABC to sell beer.

Parrish’s confirmation is subject to approval from the full Senate.

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