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For week ended January 3, 1999 Posted 20 Jan 1999
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Mormon SLOC Official faces heat

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Bid official faces heat
Deseret News 3Jan99
By Lisa Riley Roche: Deseret News staff writer

Although he is unknown outside of the International Olympic oranizations, Dave Johnson, has had a tremendous impact on the Salt Lake Olympic bid, and is facing allegations and controversy because of that impact. Johnson, a member of the LDS Church from Salt Lake, is well known among both the members of the International Olympic Committee, the journalists that cover the Olympics, and even the staff at the fancy hotels frequented by the Olympic powers.

During Salt Lake City's bid for the Olympics, Johnson served as vice president of international relations. The title isn't very descriptive of Johnson's role, however. "Dave was like a whip in the House (of Representatives). He was a vote counter," one unnamed Salt Lake Tribune source said. "You've got to know where your votes are. You've got to count noses."

For his part in Salt Lake's successful bid, Johnson, like other leaders of the Olympic bid committee, is under fire because of allegations of bribery. Johnson's name appears on a Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) letter that was leaked to the media last month. The letter is addressed to the daughter of a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC voted on what city was awarded the games.

The letter, along with the acknowledgement by SLOC chairman Frank Joklik that payments had been made to six relatives of IOC members, sparked a controversy that is being called the biggest ethical crisis ever faced by the Olympic movement. Now the FBI, the IOC, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the SLOC have all launched investigations seeking to find out the truth and, undoubtedly, someone to blame.

And Johnson is the most likely person to be blamed.

The article gives a detailed profile of Johnson, including comments by a number of unnamed sources, his previous controversial history at the Utah Sports Foundation, his education and even his work as a salesman at the local Saab dealership owned by Mormon Ken Garff.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information