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Utah AG: Best of State 2020

April 15, 2020

The Utah Attorney General’s Office found itself the proud recipient of multiple Best of State awards this year. Those in the Attorney General’s Office work hard to uphold the Constitution, enforce the law, and protect the interests of Utah and its people. Our sincere thanks to all those who give their time and energy to help make our office the Best of State.

The Best of State Awards recognize outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses in Utah. More than 100 judges review the nominations and determine the winners based on achievement in the field of endeavor, innovation or creativity in approaches, techniques, methods or processes, and contribution to the quality of life in Utah.

See below for a complete list of the Attorney General’s Office Best of State 2020 awards. 

Elected State Official: Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

Meritorious Service: Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green

Military Personnel/Unit: Utah@Ease

Public Safety Officer: Former ICAC Commander Jessica Farnsworth

Public/Private Partnership: The Utah Children’s Justice Center Program

State Agency/Office: The Utah Attorney General’s Office

Victim Advocacy: Attorney General Sean Reyes

Web-based Community Resource: SafeUT App

Youth Organization: AGO Youth Advisory Committee aka The Teen Titans

We give our congratulations to our partner, Better Days 2020, for receiving the following award for their dedication to promoting and bringing awareness to women’s history in Utah.

Education/Advocacy Organization: Better Days 2020

West High Students Recognized for Saving the Life of Assistant AG

January 17, 2020

Today, during West High School’s annual winter sports assembly, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and Assistant Attorney General David Carlson recognized Felix Ortiz and Grant Dunkley, two students who saved the life of Carlson last year.

On February 19, 2019, Felix Ortiz and Grant Dunkley both pulled over after Carlson was involved in a serious car accident. Ortiz and Dunkley pulled Carlson from his overturned car on the 600 North bridge in Salt Lake City where they performed life-saving CPR until first responders arrived on the scene.  

Carlson’s recovery has been slow but steady, and until today, Carlson, Ortiz, and Dunkley had not met. Carlson, joined by his wife and family, expressed his gratitude to Ortiz and Dunkley for their quick-thinking and heroics that day.

Broadcast originally aired on Fox 13 News.

AG Reyes helps launch One Heart Project-Utah

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes had an opportunity to help launch the new One Heart Project – Utah apprenticeship program. Through the partnership of Utah Home Builder Association – Hamlet Homes, the program helps transition at-risk youth out of the criminal justice system by providing practical skills to re-enter the community and workforce.

From Utah Business: Hamlet Homes is Proud to Support One Heart Project in a New Framing Training Accreditation Initiative

It was an inspirational and empowering time for the young men, the Pilot Pioneers of the new Utah initiative. Alongside Speaker Greg Hughes and Hamlet Homes CEO Barry Gittleman, AG Reyes had a chance to challenge the young men to:

“…make most of second chances, own their past but don’t let it define them; don’t blame circumstances, but take responsibility; be grateful, not entitled; find opportunity in adversity; ignore jealous haters; find something productive they are so passionate about they would not risk losing it; lift others and forget revenge; worry about character and not reputation; know they have potential, greatness, and brilliance in them; and realize they have a whole support network (counselors, family, One Heart mentors) that care about them!”

There were 30 young men in attendance and another 15 community members to support the six young men who will be the first to walk through this program.

Burgess Owens, Executive Director for One Heart Project – Utah, said the following after the event: 

“This was probably the first time these young men have received this type of positive encouragement from so many in positions that they respect. They understand how their actions and success will impact the One Heart program and others coming behind them and are absolutely pumped to get started. A young man who did not qualify to be one of the pioneers approached me afterwards and thanked me… stating that he’s looked forward to participating.”

That’s a win for all.

Photo by Cole Patrick

Media Release: AG Reyes brings Utah opioid solutions to the White House

September 28, 2018


Policymakers from 40 states and territories gather at the nation’s capitol to discuss best practices in fighting the opioids epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes was featured alongside federal leaders to sound an alarm and share tools for combating the opioid epidemic. The conference was hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to foster collaboration and discuss best practices in addressing the opioid crisis in neighborhoods, communities, and states. Officials from over forty states, territories and tribes attended the conference.

Attorney General Reyes highlighted what Utah does right – specifically, mobilizing a diverse and talented network of professionals including legislators, state officials, federal partners, educators, religious groups, civic groups, and concerned citizens. “It takes everyone,” said Reyes.  “This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is a humanitarian issue. Too many have died in Utah and in America. This is a clear and present danger. This epidemic kills people of every single background. Because of that we need everyone to work together.”

In addition to Attorney General Reyes, the panel included Jim Carroll, the Deputy Director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at Health and Human Services, Anne Hazlett, Assistant Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture, John Martin, Assistant Administrator for Diversion at the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Andrew Bremberg, Assistant to the President & Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Scott W. Reed, Assistant Attorney General at the forefront of Utah’s opioid battle said, “One of the most important components of recovering from addiction is keeping connected to a supportive community. Likewise, today’s White House summit helps keep federal partners and federal dollars connected to the state and local folks who are in the trenches, working every day to reduce the tragic effects of the opioid crisis. We are grateful to the president and his staff for the opportunity to maintain and strengthen these connections.”

Utah Attorney General Reyes was the single state leader on the panel of federal experts chosen by the Trump Administration to discuss the comprehensive efforts taken in the fight against the opioid crisis.  Those federal efforts include the following:

1) $930 million in State Opioid Response Grants from the Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support community-driven solutions.

2) First Lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative, which has focused on the issues children affected by the crisis face, particularly neonatal concerns and the importance of educating parents on healthy pregnancies.

3) The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) collaborative efforts with state, local, private sector, and non-profits agencies through the prevention program Drug Take Back Day.

4) The ONDCP, Ad Council, and Trump Administration’s partnership for the Youth Opioid Prevention Ad Campaign.

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1. The livestream of the public portion of the conference is archived here.

2. You can access more information on today’s conference on the Utah AG’s website here:



Scam artists abound: Don’t fall for it.

Did someone contact you from the AG’s Office asking for money? 

It probably wasn’t us. It was a scam.

Don’t send them anything.  Call us instead: 801-281-1200.

Scam #1: Bogus Grant Program
Recently, scammers impersonating the attorney general have contacted victims through Facebook Messenger offering a grant worth thousands of dollars — for a small fee (see the screenshot, below). The scammer directed the victim to a bogus personal page where they went through a series of grant application questions. Once the application was “approved”, the victims sent payment and received a grant check in return. The check bounced, of course, but by then the scammer had disappeared, along with the victim’s money.

Scam #2: Arrest Warrant 
Just this week, someone impersonated the Utah Solicitor General and told a victim he had a warrant for his arrest.  The scammer said the victim would go to jail unless they sent personal information and a payment.  The scammer then used this information to drain the rest of the victim’s accounts. 

These are just two recent examples of many creative scams out there.  The goal in each case is the same: to fool you into sending money. Don’t do it. 

You can beat the scammers. Here’s how. 

1. Don’t wire money.
True lotteries, sweepstakes, or grants awarded do not ask for money – not for shipping and handling, taxes, or customs. State officials and agencies do not typically ask people to send money for prizes, grants, unpaid loans, or to keep from being thrown in jail. When they do, they follow a very formal process that you would recognize as legit.

2. Take a moment and think before you do anything.
Check with a trusted friend, family member, or your local Better Business Bureau. If the offer references a state agency or official, contact the respective office to verify its validity before moving forward. Do not let anyone bully you. If that starts, hang up. Report scams to law enforcement.

3. Do not share your financial or personal information. Ever. 
If you receive a call about a debt that you believe may be legitimate, call that company directly.

4. Don’t trust a name or number. 
No matter what name they use or how official an offer may sound, scammers lie. Also, scammers can disguise their number to look more legit. Often, calling the number back results in a message of “this number is not in use”. 

No matter what, don’t send money. You won’t get the grant. You will not be thrown in jail. You won’t get it back. 

5. Contact us.  If you receive a message, call, or email from someone claiming to be someone from our office or any other official, please contact our office to report and verify whether or not it is real.  We sometimes collect money following a court decision but we rarely do it by phone. We don’t do it via social media. You can contact us at 801-281-1200 or 


Screenshot of a bogus grant program. Report this to us. Do not send money. 

Utah Attorney General's Office

AG Reyes’ Statement on the Verdict in the John Swallow Case

SALT LAKE CITY March 2, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement regarding the verdict in the trial of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow:

“I reaffirm my belief in the integrity of our legal system and the importance of constitutional safeguards such as due process and the right to a jury that protect us all as Americans. I have great respect for Judge Hruby-Mills and her careful and judicious management of this matter. I also greatly appreciate the service of the jury and respect its verdict.

“Regardless of the outcome of any given case, we in the Office of the Utah Attorney General support our criminal justice system and its role in protecting citizens and preserving liberties.  We thank all those who serve the public in the criminal justice process from investigators, prosecutors, public defenders, victim advocates, jurors, and corrections personnel to judicial and courtroom staff.

“Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of this case, we should be appreciative of a legal system in America that is not perfect but is among the best in the world. Our belief in and deference to the Rule of Law is the bedrock of that system.”


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Utah Attorney General's Office

AG Reyes Expresses Sympathy for Judge Stephen Henriod’s Family

SALT LAKE CITY September 16, 2016 – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes expressed his sympathies for the family of Retired 3rd District Judge Stephen L. Henriod.

“The Office of the Utah Attorney General expresses its sympathies to the family of Judge Stephen L. Henriod, who served for sixteen years on the Third Judicial District Court, overseeing numerous cases. We appreciate all who serve or who have rendered public service on the bench.”

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AG Reyes Statement on National Suicide Prevention Month and the SafeUT App

SALT LAKE CITY September 14, 2016 – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement on National Suicide Prevention Month:

“Over the past two years, the Office of the Attorney General has teamed with legislators, state agencies, mental health clinicians, suicide prevention advocates, the faith community, educators, law enforcement, parents and teens to combat the leading cause of death of Utah children, ages 10-17. We can no longer accept the horrible reality that our kids are not only contemplating leaving this life, but actually succeeding in their determination to end it themselves. The shocking tragedy of suicide permeates our state and our children are finding it to be a solution to loneliness, depression, discrimination, anxiety and the devastating pain caused by bullying, harassment, and abuse.

“As I have visited with youth throughout the state over the past two and a half years individually and in groups, I have asked how many of them feel alone, judged, alienated or without hope. I have asked how many have considered hurting themselves or know someone who has or is thinking of ending their lives. I am deeply unsettled and saddened by the response, especially when I see a majority of hands shoot up in a crowd of 500 students.

“Because of this, and the sobering fact that Utah now leads the nation in the rate of teen suicide, I have made it a priority for my office to lead the School Safety and Crisis Line Commission which recently unveiled the new SafeUT app, which is currently being introduced in schools throughout Utah. Those in crisis can now access live trained professionals at any time the way they are used to communicating, through a smart app on their phones.

“Once individuals reach out anonymously through texts, chats or calls, certified clinicians at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) respond with support and crisis counseling, including suicide prevention. Whether a crisis is caused by emotional pain, bullying, relationship problems, or mental health challenges, these dedicated professionals have had great success in helping youth throughout our state feel that someone is listening and that they finally have help to navigate their darkest paths.”

The SafeUT app began rolling out to Utah junior high, middle and high schools in early 2016 and will continue to be implemented throughout the state in the 2016-17 school year. In addition to responding to suicide threats, SafeUT is available for those needing help with self-harm, grief and loss, drug and alcohol problems, mental health, abuse, and domestic violence. Further, the app has a safety tip feature that can be used to submit a tip to a school or to law enforcement.

University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) SafeUT Website Here



Key Features of SafeUT

The SafeUT program and app help youth stay healthy and safe in schools by providing high-quality, confidential counseling services. The app’s key features include:

  • Anonymous, confidential, and password protected services

  • Real-time, two-way communication with SafeUT crisis counselors available 24/7

  • Tips can be submitted with picture and/or video

  • Mobile app works with Apple & Android devices

SafeUT’s Crisis Services

Safe UT answers crisis calls, texts, and chats – about yourself or someone else – 24/7. These services are anonymous and confidential. Our counseling topics include:

  • Suicide

  • Self-harm

  • Emotional crisis

  • Grief and loss

  • Drug and alcohol problems

  • Mental health

  • Abuse

  • Impact of domestic violence


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AG Reyes Statement on National Preparedness Month

SALT LAKE CITY September 13, 2016 – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement on National Preparedness Month:

“Utah has a long tradition of self-reliance dating back to our founding. Whether it is planning for natural disasters, establishing personal financial security, or looking after our own health, preparing for the unexpected is a part of our culture. 

“One of the most important things we can do as a public office is to help prepare Utah citizens and their families with the tools to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their resources. The White Collar Crime Offender Registry, which helps Utahns search a database of convicted white-collar criminals before they invest and the SafeUT app, which gives individuals in crisis direct access to trained professionals, are two technologies our office has collaborated with the legislature and other state agencies to introduce over the past year. In addition, ongoing school internet safety training through NetSmartz helps educate students about best practices for online and social media use, for our children, for dating, and for privacy.

“Whatever the circumstance, during National Preparedness Month we urge Utahns to make and update plans for all contingencies, communicate that plan as a family, and prepare for the unexpected.”

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Utah Attorney General's Office

AG Sean Reyes Statement on National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month

SALT LAKE CITY September 12, 2016 – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement on National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month:

“According to Utah’s Department of Health, 24 individuals a month in our state die from prescription drug overdoses. Add to that the frightening statistic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Utah has the seventh-highest rate of alcohol poisoning deaths in the nation, and we must acknowledge a serious problem exists in our state.

“However, statistics often fail to adequately convey the grief and pain associated with particular challenges. Most of us have been impacted directly or indirectly by the grip of alcohol and drug addiction. Many of us are familiar with stories of how an “innocent few drinks” or prescribed pain medication led to the captivity of someone we know and love.

“No one starts out wanting to be an addict. And the addicts we know are not generally hardened criminals. They are our kids and our neighbors, soccer moms and little league coaches. We owe it to them to find better ways to get them help, treatment, and healing rather than incarceration or judgment.

“I have listened to, counseled with and prayed for both those caught up in the throes of addiction, those on the road to recovery, and some who may have relapsed, as well as their families. I admire many I have known who have struggled to regain their control, dignity, careers, families, and lives and as they fight to break destructive cycles and maintain sobriety.

“As Attorney General, I have come to recognize how alcohol and drugs are intertwined with some of our society’s most serious crimes. Human traffickers drug their victims to ensure that they become controllable and enslaved to addictions. Drug lords continue to push geographic and biological limits. And the majority of petty crimes like burglaries are committed to satisfying opioid and other addictions. The inclination to commit all types of crimes may be increased when one has their conscience blunted by the effects of addictive substances.

“During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month, we urge every Utahn to consider how we can work together to prevent addiction and support those on the difficult road to recovery. My team wishes to express our greatest hope and encouragement for those who are already on the path to recovery and those we hope will arrive there. We offer our full support to our state’s clinicians, families, and individuals who fight the battle on a daily basis.”

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