Following Utah Republican lawmaker Jon Stanard's abrupt resignation this week, newspaper The Daily Mail reported that his departure was due to an escort's claims that he met her for sex twice in 2017. Stanard had originally told the public that he was resigning to spend time with his father, who has terminal cancer.
Elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012, Stanard was a conservative politician who ironically voted for stricter laws against prostitution, including a proposition that would increase the penalty for soliciting sex to $2,500.
The Daily Mail reports that Stanard met an escort named Brie Taylor during at least two business trips to Salt Lake City. Taylor claims that Stanard paid her $250 for each of their one-hour sessions, during which she performed oral sex and the two had intercourse.
According to the Associated Press, Stanard was reimbursed for multiple Salt Lake City hotel stays in June and August 2017 while he was attending legislative meetings—meaning he used taxpayer money on the rooms in which the escort visits took place. House Chief of Staff Greg Hartley confirmed the news with AP in a text message on Thursday night.
Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes added that he was unsure whether Stanard would be asked to return the money used for the hotel bookings. "If there has been an abuse of public funds or if public funds were used in a way that's inappropriate, we would," he said. "I don't have solid answers for those things. I would need to have a way that I would know conclusively that that is the case."
Taylor says she was aware of Stanard's job title as soon as he texted her number, which she found on a website. Taylor explained, "I already knew who he was because I screen all my clients using a phone number service and I Googled him."
"I was surprised that he was using his real phone number," she said. "I thought that was kind of stupid but I knew he wasn’t a psycho so I met him."