Lila Herod, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder-elect, shares a laugh Tuesday in the clerk’s office inside the Moffat County Courthouse. In April, Herod, then the county elections supervisor, resigned from her position so she could remain eligible as a candidate for clerk and recorder due to the federal Hatch Act. She re-joined the staff Nov. 23, after an about eight-month absence.

Photo by Brian Smith

Lila Herod, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder-elect, shares a laugh Tuesday in the clerk’s office inside the Moffat County Courthouse. In April, Herod, then the county elections supervisor, resigned from her position so she could remain eligible as a candidate for clerk and recorder due to the federal Hatch Act. She re-joined the staff Nov. 23, after an about eight-month absence.

Moffat County Clerk-elect Lila Herod rejoins office staff after 8-month absence

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There is something visitors coming through the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder’s Office have said to Craig resident Lila Herod that she has never heard before.

It is something Herod said is fulfilling to know.

“They say, ‘It’s good to see you back here where you belong,’” she said. “That’s nice. It is good for me to see them, too. I do feel back at home.”

The last eight months have been a mix of emotions, said Herod, the now county clerk and recorder-elect.

In April, Herod, then the county elections supervisor, resigned from her position so she could remain eligible as a candidate for clerk and recorder.

Her employment and candidacy were at odds, according to the federal Hatch Act, a law that restricts the political activity of people employed by agencies that receive federal money.

Herod was informed about provisions in the Hatch Act and contacted the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for an opinion.

The OSC reported that her candidacy was a violation of the Hatch Act based on her work in acquiring a federal grant to fund improvements at the Hamilton Com­munity Center, which is used as a polling place.

She was given the choice to withdraw from the election, or resign from her position, which she had held for more than 20 years.

Herod ultimately decided to take her chances, remain a candidate and quit her job in hopes voters would reinstate her in the clerk’s office after November’s general election, she said.

Herod started working again for the clerk’s office in the motor vehicles department Nov. 23, she said. Being back in the clerk’s office after an eight-month absence was a feeling she said she greatly enjoys.

“When I came back (after) being yanked out of my position, it was like, ‘Yes, I am finally back doing what I have been trained and educated to do,’” she said. “So, I did feel a big relief being back.”

Dealing with the Hatch Act and deciding to leave her job made for a “really challenging year,” Herod said.

At the time, she said she felt like a rug had been pulled out from under her.

Herod wondered, “who would have ever dreamed” that she would “be the one to turn things upside down” considering no other candidates had been affected by the Hatch Act before this year’s election cycle.

“It was nothing that any of us expected,” she said. “But, it happened. It was like, ‘Oh well, sorry about your luck.’”

But, those feelings didn’t last long.

Within a few weeks of stepping away from her job, Herod and Craig resident K.C. Hume, who withdrew his bid for county coroner due to the Hatch Act in February, participated in helping to pass a state resolution changing the law.

The resolution was a House joint resolution aimed at limiting the Hatch Act’s scope and was sponsored, in part, by then state representative Scott Tipton. Tipton is now a Congressman-elect to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Herod said she hopes Tipton can help usher the resolution to the federal level and hopefully change or modify the Hatch Act in the future.

“Maybe he will really get where they are looking at it federally,” she said. “I think it has been addressed federally, but compared to the budget and immigration, it’s not very significant. But, maybe something will happen.”

Most of all, Herod said she is hoping that something positive comes out of the negative experience she had with the Hatch Act.

“I think it will,” she said. “At least if anything, it made the counties and our state aware of what happened. Everybody, including the Secretary of State was totally stunned that it would impact the election office.”

After stepping away from her job, Herod said she was amazed by the amount of community support she received throughout her candidacy.

“So, you never know,” she said. “Sometimes you think it is going to be the end of the world, and it ends up being just fine.”

One example of that support was finding a job at Napa Auto Parts as a parts delivery driver.

“Gosh, who knew being the delivery driver was going to be such a good time?” she said. “But, you have to have fun doing whatever you do. Make the best of whatever happens to you — that’s what I tried to do.

“With that kind of support, how can you complain?”

When asked how it is going to feel to have the Hatch Act behind her and step into the office and the job she has had her eye on since starting in the office, Herod was quick to answer.

“Ask me in January,” she said with a laugh.

Comments

csualum 3 years, 10 months ago

Here's hoping the daily press can finally put this story to rest. It has been highly over rated and over covered.

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justthefacts 3 years, 10 months ago

Fact: Lila is right where she belongs. She is trained and educated in her field.

Fact: Commissioner Danner is like a fish out of water, no education, no training. Just continuous controversy!!!

"Dear you will resign as the Republican Chaiman after your committe appoints me as Commissioner, then I can run all by myself without your position being an issue", Won't you? Won't YOU!!!!!!!! ?"

"Lila you can not run for Clerk and keep your job, because I discovered the Hatch Act, an I am a Commissioner, and I am smart, and you should not have been nice to people, It is against the law!!!!!!"

"City of Craig, you can not pass go, or use your get out of jail card for free, The jail cost one million bucks and that is it!!!! This is real monopoly and the jail is ours. So there!!!"

"MCTA, You will not make any decisions without consulting me first, or else!!!!!! I will schedule another meeting that my commissioner friends don't know about, and require their attendance so we can override your decisions."" Take that !!!!

CDP how about a story on the chaos created by one individual commissioner

Just The chaotic Facts

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Lawspecialist 3 years, 10 months ago

Fact: If she knows/knew her job so well, or is as "trained and educated" in her field as she portrays, then she would have known about the Hatch Act to begin with. No one cares about an issue unless it affects them directly. (i.e. deer, city & county meetings, school board, etc.) Whatever her "mix of emotions" are/were she needs to accept responsibility for that. She of all people should have known you don't just show up to take a test without research, thorough preparation and extensive study. You show up to take the Bar Exam and if you fail, you fail. You don't get to go have the rules changed and tailored to your needs because you live in a small town. The county spent money on her going to election seminars and County Clerk's Conferences, not to mention all the time she has in between elections for research and study. It's like going to purchase a Jaguar and leaving the lot with a Volkswagon bug because you didn't read the fine print. Surely she can relate to that. Bottom line.... she should have known.

I seriously doubt the county commissioners will make her start at minimum wage for whatever position she now holds. I wouldn't be surprised if they let her resume her "vacated" position and resume her accumulated vacation time, along with her 401K and benefits; all because she is Lila.

I agree with CSUalum, I am sick to death of hearing about her and this issue, I am immediately nausiated when I see and hear the "politics" that happen in that office and in the court house. Karma.... it WILL come around. Let this dead horse alone.

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lonelyone 3 years, 10 months ago

Lawspecialist, maybe Lila should have known about the Hatch Act and how it would affect her, but once it was brought to light and she checked on it, she had no problems leaving her job so she could continue to run for office. K.C. also understood that he'd have a problem so he just bowed out of the race, so I don't understand what your problem is. From what I could tell in the paper, neither Lila nor K.C whined about what was going on, it was many others who ranted and raved over Mrs. Danner and how it all came about and turned out. I wonder how many other elected officials in the past have been elected while in violation of the Hatch act. I would bet there are one or two of them out there.

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Lawspecialist 3 years, 10 months ago

Lonelyone... I don’t believe I directed any comment toward you. You are entitled to your opinion however, just like your opinion is yours, mine is mine. My comment was not based on a mere rumor, assumption or guess. Therefore, based on your commentary, I comfortably assume you are uninformed. For ethical reasons, I cannot divulge any more information, nonetheless, all will reveal itself in due course. The arrival of jus gladii is unforetold.

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