Olympic Officials Quit in Scandal
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The two top officials of the Salt Lake City Olympic committee resigned today and two others were placed on paid leave in a dramatic housecleaning amid a bribery scandal.
Frank Joklik, president of the city’s Olympic organizing committee, resigned but will stay on until a successor is hired. He asked for and received the resignation of senior vice president Dave Johnson.
The resignations were the latest moves in what has become the worst ethics scandal in Olympics history and were announced following a joint session of the Salt Lake and U.S. Olympic committees.
``We deplore it,″ Republican Gov. Mike Leavitt, who attended the meeting, said of the scandal that has rocked the Olympic community. ``We cannot avoid the fact we’ve been injured. ... We will clean this wound.″
In announcing his resignation, Joklik confirmed the bid committee that had landed the 2002 Games had paid International Olympic Committee members cash and gifts, in one case more than $70,000 in cash.
``We must draw a sharp line to ensure SLOC can put on the games successfully,″ Joklik said of the resignations.
Joklik and Johnson were involved in Salt Lake’s successful bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. That effort has become the target of four investigations into hundreds of thousands of dollars that went into scholarships and gifts for International Olympic Committee members and their relatives.