SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Governor Gary Herbert-R used the new power granted him by the legislature during the 2011 session and has named Richard Sperry, M.D., Ph.D. as the head of the state’s liquor board. Sperry replaces democrat Sam Granato whose term expired June 30. Previously, the board named its own chair.
Sperry, who describes himself as a non-drinker chaired his first meeting of the board on Thursday. The group sets the state’s liquor control policy and has the power to issue and revoke liquor licenses.
Despite legislation that now allows for closed meetings,Sperry says he plans to continue to keep them open in the tradition begun by Granato. That includes meetings that determine who will obtain Utah’s hard-to-get restaurant and club licenses.
Sperry, a Salt Lake City native, is the past president of the Utah Medical Association, and is director of the Governor Scott M. Matheson Center for Health Care Studies and a member of Utah‘s Physician‘s Licensing Board. He is also a Professor of Anesthesiology and Adjunct Professor of Economics and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah.
Herbert also appointed former Utah republican house and senate member Attorney David Gladwell to the board. Gladwell, another non-drinker, believes public bodies like the liquor commission need to keep discussions within the public view. Gladwell advocated closed political meetings while in the Utah Senate. He says political caucuses are different from commission meetings, and maintains the caucuses should be able to exchange ideas behind closed doors.
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Source: Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, University of Utah