The Campaign for Accountability (CfA) has asked Tim Fox, the Attorney General for the state of Montana, to investigate Utah State Representative Ken Ivory for fraud. Rep. Ivory is engaging in a scheme that defrauds taxpayers and misleads local officials into supporting an effort to return federal lands to the states that is patently unconstitutional and would impose prohibitively expensive costs on the states. In addition to his job as a state legislator, he runs the American Lands Council (ALC) — a nonprofit with a stated mission to transfer federal lands to state governments. According to IRS tax records, funding for this organization comes primarily from donations from county governments; ALC in turn pays out a hefty amount to Rep. Ivory and his wife. In 2013, the two received over $100,000 in compensation from ALC funds.
In late 2013, Ivory made presentations to commissioners in Ravalli and Sanders counties and throughout Flathead, Mineral, and Lincoln counties attempting to convince local officials to join ALC. At one meeting in the state, Ivory mentioned that other counties had joined ALC by contributing $5,000. Leveraging his position in the state government to elicit support for ALC, Rep. Ivory has falsely claimed there would be an economic windfall for states with the return of public land. According to CfA’s ED Anne Weismann, Rep. Ivory’s solicitation of funds from local government officials is “tantamount to selling unwitting victims the Brooklyn Bridge.”