BUSINESS

Utah official took contact lens seller's campaign donation while defending law

05/21/2015 02:36 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah's attorney general accepted a $5,000 campaign donation from a contact lens seller based in the state after his office began defending a new law that critics say was written at the company's behest.

Three of the nation's biggest contact lens makers last month sued Utah over the law, which bans price-fixing for lenses and could have wide-ranging implications for the industry.

They argue the law is unconstitutional and was written to benefit retailers like 1-800-Contacts.

On May 1, Attorney General Sean Reyes' campaign deposited a $5,000 check from 1-800-Contacts.

Reyes and his campaign say the donation has no bearing on work at the attorney general's office, and Reyes has a duty to defend the law.

Josh Kanter is board president of the progressive, good-government group Alliance for a Better Utah. He says the donation is a conflict of interest and Reyes should return it.