About Byron Poelman
- Latest update: 2014: died
- Lived: 1934 - 2014
- alias(es): President Poelman
LDS mission: yes - - Netherlands
LDS temple marriage: yes 1963 Salt Lake
- Criminal case result:
Ties to LDS leaders/power: was a partner in the Mormon church's law firm Kirton, McConkie and Poelman; the firm dropped Poelman's name shortly after he was caught doing a sex crime; Poelmans' brother Ronald was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Byron Poelman Mormon Sex Crime Case Summary
Note: Most of the cases in FLOODLIT.org’s database involve sexual abuse. While Poelman was not found guilty of abuse, he was found guilty of a sex crime involving a young woman, and he was a prominent LDS church member at the time of his arrest.
In 1994 in Salt Lake City, Byron Lloyd Poelman, a Mormon stake president and partner in a law firm that represented the LDS church, was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
He paid a 19-year-old woman $30 to give him oral sex in his car, and was caught by a Salt Lake City police officer.
The woman was taken to jail for the night, while Poelman was released immediately.
In a stake conference held on August 14, 1994. LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer presided over a “special” stake conference wherein Poelman was released with a vote of thanks. Poelman was permitted to speak, and address the youth – a marked departure from the norm for an LDS church member.
“President and sister Poelman’s lives need to be private now. […] We are a family. A family keeps things private. A family draws close together. These things are to be kept private,” Packer said, according to notes taken by two people in attendance.
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- Charge against leader put attorney in quandary
- Accused was a former LDS bishop and stake high council member
- Notes from the 1994-08-14 stake conference where Poelman spoke - by Paul and Margaret Toscano
- Obituary - Byron Lloyd Poelman
Online sources excerpts
Charge against leader put attorney in quandary
Source type: News article
Publisher: Provo Daily Herald
Date published/accessed: 11 Sep 1994
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Charge against leader put attorney in quandry
By MIKE CARTER
Associated Press Writer
SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah - City Attorney Kevin Watkins had a personal and ethical dilemma. It sat in his in-basket for 10 days before he realized it.
But when he finally picked up and read the police report and accompanying citation, Watkins was stunned.
Even after repeated readings, he found it inconceivable that his neighbor, B. Lloyd Poelman, an esteemed attorney and Watkins' ecclesiastical leader, had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
As a prosecutor, Watkins duty was clear. But what were his obligations as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Or as an officer of the court and member of the Utah State Bar?
Watkins, a devoted Mormon, said there hadn't been a peep about the incident in the church's Monument Park North Stake, where Poelman served as president. Watkins doubted church leaders knew.
And then there was the bar association. Poelman, 60, was a well-known and powerful partner in the firm of Kirton McConkie Poelman, the primary law firm used by the Mormon Church. Had he told his partners? Had the incident been reported to the bar's disciplinary arm?
Nearly two weeks after the arrest, Watkins had heard nothing. Not from Poelman. Not from the church. The silence, he said, left him in a terrible quandary.
Was it his job to tell?
"In my mind, this was such a serious thing," said the 33-year-old Watkins. "I agonized over it for a couple of It was the most difficult thing I've had to struggle with in my life."
Watkins' dilemma began on a busy corner at half-past midnight on July 16.
Waiting at the southbound stoplight at 2100 South and State Street was an unmarked sheriffs car driven by Deputy Doug Walters, a vice detective who had been cruising the county's strip clubs for violations. En route to another bar, he saw a young woman standing on the southwest corner, gesturing and yelling at passing cars.
Her name, at least on police records, was [REDACTED]. She was 19. Walters pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store on the corner to watch the woman. As he did, a late-model Nissan Maxima slowed. The driver leaned over, opened the passenger door and [REDACTED] got in.
Walters followed the car around the corner into a business parking lot. After it stopped, he sneaked up and observed the woman performing oral sex on the driver. The car pulled out. Walters followed and stopped it.
The driver, Poelman, "was scared to death," the deputy recalled. "He told me nothing had happened."
The lie angered Walters. "I mean, I told him, 'I seen what I seen, and now you're telling me I didn't.'"
Walters began reading Poelman his rights, and explained he'd be booked into jail and his car impounded. "That's when he fell apart," Walters said. "He said he didn't want to go to jail." Poelman confessed he'd given the girl $30 for oral sex.
Walters cited Poelman and released him, but booked the woman into jail because she didn't have a legitimate address.
The next day, he dropped off a copy of his report and citation at the South Salt Lake city offices. Watkins didn't see them until July 26.
"I was confused," he recalled. "At first I thought (Poelman) was a witness. Then I saw he was the alleged actor. I went into a sort of shock."
After two sleepless nights and long talks with his wife, father and others, Watkins called the church's regional representative, Wayne Peterson of Holladay, Poelman's immediate ecclesiastical superior. "As far as I know, it was the first he'd heard about it," Watkins said.
Peterson said later that after hearing from Watkins, he referred the matter to his own superiors, whom he declined to name.
The same day, Watkins called the Utah State Bar, at first posing an anonymous, hypothetical scenario based on Poelman's arrest.
Told the matter should be referred for possible discipline, he filed a formal complaint.
A bar investigation is pending.
"I have not spoken to anyone else about this except Mr. Watkins," said assistant disciplinary counsel Alan Barber, who would not elaborate.
Oscar McConkie Jr., Poelman's law partner, said Thursday he was unaware of a bar investigation. He said Poelman's name was "no longer on the marquee," but that he continued to practice law in the office.
"The firm has taken no action on his status," McConkie said. "The firm has determined that it would not take any action under the heat of the problem."
There was a time when Watkins thought he'd been spared at least some problems posed by the case. Poelman pleaded guilty to the class misdemeanor on Aug. 1, and Watkins role as prosecutor was resolved.
But that changed a month later when Poelman, accompanied by an attorney, withdrew the guilty plea, forcing Watkins to remove himself from the case due to a conflict of interest. Another attorney will be brought in to handle the case.
In many ways, that is a relief to the young prosecutor. "This has been very difficult for me, personally and professionally," Watkins said. "I don't regret it.
I've been told by the regional representative and the people to whom he spoke that I did the right thing."
Poelman is due back in court Sept. 19 before South Salt Lake Justice Paul Thompson, ostensibly to enter into a so-called "diversionary agreement."
Such agreements allow a plea to be held in abeyance for a year. If the defendant meets several strin gent probationary requirements, the charge is dismissed and there is no criminal record.
Watkins believes the publicity resulting from withdrawing the plea is a high price to pay for a clean record. "Personally, I think he got some bad legal advice," he said.
Poelman's attorney, John Walsh, refused to discuss the case and has advised his client not to talk, either.
While Watkins won't be prosecuting the case, he said he will confer with the new attorney. Regardless of any diversionary agreement, Watkins will demand that Poelman enter a guilty plea and undergo the usual conditions surrounding such convictions, including an AIDS test.
Poelman was excommunicated from the Mormon Church on Aug. 14 in a secret disciplinary council.
Earlier in the day, members of the Monument Park North Stake, which comprises several wards, or congregations, met in a special stake conference. Some who attended felt the meeting lacked the tone of contrition and apology they had expected.
Speakers included Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the church's Council of the Twelve Apostles, who praised Poelman for having come forward. His remarks reflected an expectation of Poelman's future rebaptism.
Poelman also was allowed to speak, but his words left a sour taste with some including the young South Salt Lake prosecutor.
"Because of the seriousness of this offense, after I thought about it, I felt there was a lack of contrition on Lloyd Poelman's part," Watkins said. "Others I've talked to sensed it perhaps stronger than I did."
back to online sources listAccused was a former LDS bishop and stake high council member
Source type: News article
Publisher: Salt Lake Tribune
Date published/accessed: 18 Jul 1971
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Administrative and Planning - Byron Lloyd Poelman, a Salt Lake attorney and formerly a bishop and high councilor.
back to online sources listNotes from the 1994-08-14 stake conference where Poelman spoke - by Paul and Margaret Toscano
Source type: Website
Date published/accessed: 1 Dec 2022
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Date: Wednesday, September 7, 1994 04:07pm
Department: Editors - WP InForms
Voice #: 2-7589
The following was an upload to the Religion Forum on CompuServe. Uploaded with permission of
the author (Paul Toscano) it is a transcript of the Stake Meeting revolving around the
re-organization of ex-President Poelman’s stake. Despite my temptation to edit it (at least to put in
paragraph breaks) I am offering it as I received it.
Special Stake Conference
Monument Park North Stake
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 14, 1994
by Paul and Margaret Toscano
Presiding: President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Council of the Twelve. Elder John E.
Fowler, of the First Council of the Seventy, area president for the Utah North Area (as of August
15, 1994, this area has been reorganized to include the central part of the state previously
included in the Utah Central Area, formerly under the presidency of Elder Malcolm Jeppsen).
Purpose: To sustain a new stake presidency occasioned by the release of stake president Bryan
Lloyd Poelman, the named partner in the law firm of Kirton, McConkie, and Poelman, which
serves as general counsel for the LDS Church.
Background: President Poelman was released following his arrest on July 16, 1994 and his
subsequent plea of guilty to the class C misdemeanor of soliciting a prostitute and engaging in
oral sex. South Salt Lake City Attorney Kevin Watkins, a member of Poelman's stake became
aware of the charges. Watkins did not act
for several days, expecting Poelman to come NOVELL Facsimile
forward and report his arrest and charge to
the Utah State Bar and to church leaders.
Q Page 2 of 5
When it became apparent to Watkins that Poelman would not be forthcoming, Watkins reported
the matter to church and bar officials. President Poelman resigned from his law firm, and action
was instituted to release him from the stake presidency. He was released on Sunday August 14,
1994 and excommunicated that evening by the new stake presidency and the high council of the
Monument Park North Stake. Since then, he continues to work for his law firrrj^pt whether he
will continue there as an attorney or as a partner is unclear. On August 30, 1994 it was reported
in the Salt Lake Tribune that Poelman had withdrawn his guilty plea so that he has the option to
enter a plea in abeyance which could result in no criminal record.
Special Stake Conference
Monument Park North Stake
August 14, 1994
Opening hymn and prayer.
Stake business: Ordinary stake business was conducted, including the release of two high
councillors and som auxiliary officers, and the announcement of men ordained to offices of the
Melchizedek Priesthood. Release of old stake presidency: President Boyd K. Packer, by order of
the First Presidency, released the stake presidency consisting of Bryan Lloyd Poelman, Robert
Lewis Bauman, and Melvin Garfield Cook with a vote of thanks. Calling of new stake presidency:
President Packer announced the new stake presidency to consist of Robert Lewis Bauman, stake
president: M. Garfield Cook, first counselor; and Kevin E. Anderson, second counselor.
Announcement of agenda: President Bauman then introduced the agenda for the meeting.
President Poelman would speak first, followed by the members of the new stake presidency.
There would be an intermediate hymn sung by the congregation ("I Know That My Redeemer
Lives"), followed by Elder John E. Fowler, and President Boyd K. Packer. President Poelman:
Beloved brothers and sisters. I appreciate Brother Packer’s willingness to let me speak. I cannot
say everything I am feeling. Many of you would be surprised at what those feelings are. I
sincerely pray the Lord will give me utterance. I have felt the sweetness of the gospel. The
goodness of God is great. It is a privilege to be born in this dispensation. I know the strength of
the Church, the goodness of the people. In my youth I received a testimony of the truth of this
work and that testimony has never slackened. I have a special love for Joseph Smith. I am
grateful for the strength of the Church and its present leadership. There is nothing about the
doctrine or the leadership that I do not support. I have seen the Church in operation. I have had
many choice privileges. I have had stalwart mentors. Those present here are dear to my heart. I
am thankful for the thoughtful comments and expression, the uplifted hands. In the last weeks we
have been flooded with sentiments that have been so appropriate. So many have shown such
kindness to Catherine and the children. Two and a half years ago this stake was created. I was
called with Bruce S. Sorenson and H. Roger Boyer. President Boyer was later called as a mission
president and President Sorenson concluded his services. I sustain the actions of this conference.
President Bauman is the one. We served as each others’ bishop. He is a man of God. The Lord
prepared him for this call. I wish to express my love for President Cook. And the calling of
President Anderson was no surprise. I see the gospel in a clearer dimension. I have learned more
about myself, the Savior, the gospel, and the adversary. I have been concerned about people
having faith in me, but my faith is anchored in Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the plan of
redemption. My family has had struggles. These have been too public. The Lord has blessed us
with healing powers. I am grateful for a choice companion, Catharine. I love her very much. I want
to be worthy of her. I hope that anyone I have offended will forgive me. My prayers are for the
reaffirmation of their religious conviction. I am aware of human frailties. I seek forgiveness. I ask
the Lord to bless each of us with healing in his wings. I have faith and confidence in the triumph
of good over evil. Mercy will overflow justice. Our lives will be purged. Some sins are proclaimed
from the housetops, others are more private. I am a witness to the goodness of God. The way to
successful living is to keep the commandments. In this there is both safety and peace. In the
name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
President Bauman: When driving in a storm, the light breaks forth from the darkness. The Savior’s
resurrection dispelled the darkness of apostasy. "I am the light of the world," he said. This calling
[to be stake president] is unexpected, but I want to serve the Lord. I am aware of my
inadequacies, but I ask the help of the Lord. I express my love to my wife, my aratitude to Elder
Packer and Elder Fowler for their kindness and sensitivity in the past few weeksfT
President Cook: This is the work of the Lord. I am filled with mixed emotions as, perhaps, many
of you are. I think of Nephi when he had to rely on the Lord to build the ship to a new world. I
think of Ammon, who had to act alone, it seemed, but was filled with the strength of the Lord. I
appreciate the opportunity to work with President Bauman. I appreciate his sweet spirit.
President Anderson: I am astonished by this calling. I feel others are more qualified, wise and
accomplished. I am grateful for the last stake presidency. I am grateful for the many kindnesses
that have been showered upon us by the members of the stake. When I think of what it means to
be lifted up into the stake presidency, I think of how the lame man must have felt when he was
lifted up by Peter and given the strength to walk again.
Intermediate hymn: The congregation sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"
President John E. Fowler (First Council of the Seventy and Area President): No one but President
Boyd K. Packer can testify of what I wish to say. When Moses was told he could not enter the
promised land, he petitioned simply that the Lord would put in his stead a man that could lead the
people of Israel. The First Presidency made the assignment to this stake to President Boyd K.
Packer. He invited me to assist him. I had only one prayer and that was that my mind would be
one with Boyd K. Packer's, in whom I have explicit trust. We interviewed the leading men of the
stake. The spirit touched our hearts. The Lord has made every preparation needful. It was clear
to me that that which has occurred in this reorganization is precisely what the Lord would have
done if he were here. Men are called of God by prophecy and the laying on of hands. I am a
certain witness of the divinity of this call. When I contemplate my weaknesses and inappropriate
or untoward acts, I think of a scripture: "I the Lord forgive sins unto those who confess and ask
for forgiveness and have not sinned unto death." I seek forgiveness every night. I plead for mercy.
I testify that we are led by prophets, seers, and revelators. This is not the work of men, but of
Jesus Christ as he gives direction to those in positions of responsibility. I am grateful for the
sustaining vote you have given to those called of God today. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
President Boyd K. Packer (acting president of the Council of the Twelve Apostles): I neglected to
sustain to new high councilors. There is no excuse for making this mistake, but made it anyway.
I hope you will forgive me. This is the first mistake I have made, at least in this congregation
[laughter]. Perhaps there is an excuse. I am a little tired. I just returned from Europe where I was
travelling in Switzerland with President Howard W. Hunter and Sister Hunter. We had meetings on
Monday and Tuesday. But Wednesday was a recreation day. We went to the top of Mount
Stilgehom (?). it required four separate cable car changes to get to the top, which was well over
10,000 feet above sea level. It overlooks the Jungfrau. President Hunter took the cable car to the
top of the Maltemhom. I had to return early. They will return later this week. This meeting is
Q Page 4 of s'"'
conducted under the influence of the spirit. It is given to the brethren to conduct meetings by the
spirit of the Lord. Brother Poelman knows the doctrines of the gospel well. He stepped forward in
away that took courage. He and his wife and family will be blessed. Alma in his teachings to his
son Corianton outlined the plan of happiness. Mercy and justice are the same. I want to teach
you something. --
It is like a rod. One end is mercy and the other justice. Justice can't exist witliout mercy and
mercy can't exist without justice. Repentance can't come without punishment. I felt relieved
about President and sister Poelman. Whatever else will take place, there will be no eternal
consequences. There was a church leader who had some stones on his mantel piece to remind
him of the story in the New Testament, the story of the woman who was brougjft before Jesus.
The law by Christ’s birth was fulfilled. When they brought the woman in adultery, Jesus said, let
him who is without sin cast a stone. The stones remain on the mantelpiece, never having been
thrown. President and sister Poelman’s lives need to be private now.. Things put right will have
no eternal consequences. These are important learning experiences. The Lord directed us to be
brothers and sisters. We are a family. A family keeps things private. A family draws close
together. These things are to be kept private. I would like to say a word about President Hunter.
We are often asked: Does the president of the twelve always become president of the Church, or
can someone else be chosen. Yes to both questions. Yes, because the Lord could choose
someone else to be president of the council of the twelve. President Howard W. Hunter was the
senior apostle and president of the twelve. The senior apostle always becomes the president of
the Church. The next senior apostle always stands next to the president. On the death of the
president, this next senior apostle automatically and immediately is the president of the Church.
When Joseph Smith was killed, the leaders did not know what to do. Proposal about what to do
were presented. Sidney Rigdon proposed that Joseph Smith III should be president with Rigdon
as caretaker of the Church. Then the twelve returned. Brigham Young was in a railroad station in
Massachusetts when the prophet was killed. During the succession period, Brigham Young spoke
and was transfigured so he sounded and looked like Joseph Smith’.' Brigham Young said, You
can have anyone as president (Ann Lee), but the President of the Twelve hold the keys. Of
course, when the president dies, there are 14 members of the twelve. This is OK. It is only
temporary. We came together and confirmed Howard W. Hunter as president. Brother Hinckley
is President of the Quorum of the Twelve. He is in the First Presidency. So an acting president
must be chosen to preside over the Twelve. (Brigham Young Jr. was chosen to be acting
president, but they called it acting senior apostle pro temp). The second senior apostle is Thomas
S. Monson. He too is in the First Presidency. I am the third senior apostle. They had to reach
down three to find an acting president of the twelve. When Brigham Young led the Church, it took
three and a half years (until December 26, 1847) before the First Presidency was reorganized.
When Brigham Young died, the twelve ruled for three years. When John Taylor died, there was
also a period when the twelve ruled. It looked like Wilford Woodruff was going to die, but he
didn’t. He lived another 21 years. Wilford Woodruff said no more waiting to reorganize the First
Presidency. Eleven days after Wilford Woodruff died, the First Presidency was reorganized. After
this, the First Presidency has been reorganized very quickly after the death of each succeeding
president. President Hunter is frail of body, but spiritually robust. He is presiding over the Church.
What do we need in a Church president? An athlete? A genius? A special occupation? No. We
need a prophet. One who is wise. One who has judicial wisdom. He will preside as long as it
pleases the Lord. This is the Order of the Church. There is no politicking to be in the First
Presidency or to be President of the Church.
The apostles do not become apostles by their own nomination. The organization of the Church
is marvelous. Such an organization could not have entered into the mind of man, so greed and
self- aggrandizement are not there. I remember going to a conference in Washington with
President Harold B. Lee. We were both weary. We were walking through the airport. Elder Lee
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turned to me and said, Tve known men who aspire to high church office.. They should be granted
their wish. It would be punishment enough.This stake will be all right. I leave you with my
testimony and my blessing. I know that some youngsters are puzzled; I bless them to come to
under-standing, resolution, and steadiness. The adversary’s work is offset by the work of the
Lord. I leave my blessing on Brothers Poelman, Bauman, the stake presidency fend the stake. I
was apprehensive about this meeting. But it was washed away by the spirit and by the
admonition that the meeting be conducted by the spirit.
Meeting closed: The meeting concluded with a closing hymn and a prayer.
Excommunication: On Sunday evening, August 14, 1994, Bryan Lloyd Poelman was
excommunicated from the LDS Church by the stake presidency and high council of the Monument
Park North Stake.
Note: There was no other meeting associated with this stake conference. Specifically, no
Saturday night meeting was held. It was rumored that there was a correspondent from Time
magazine in the audience.
This report was drafted from handwritten notes made by Paul and Margaret Toscano who were
present at this meeting. They were typed on August 28, 1994 and updated on September 1, 1994.
Thom Duncan email@example.com
back to online sources listObituary - Byron Lloyd Poelman
Source type: Website
Date published/accessed: 13 Apr 2014
archive 1 | archive 2
Byron Poelman Obituary
Byron Lloyd Poelman
July 1, 1934 - April 11, 2014
B. Lloyd Poelman passed away peacefully at home following a struggle with Lewy Body Disease. Lloyd lived a thorough life. He worked diligently to provide for his large family, he served God by dedicating his time and talents to numerous church callings and he remained an ever kind and gracious man.
Born at home in Salt Lake City, Lloyd grew up with few material possessions, but rich in love, faith and music. As a young man Lloyd served an LDS mission to the Netherlands, his fatherland. In midlife he served as president of the Tennessee Nashville Mission, accompanied by his companion Catherine and family where the last of nine children was born. He loved and served others as a bishop and stake president in the University, Bonneville and Monument Park North Stakes. After retiring from practicing law at Kirton McConkie, Lloyd served with his wife as senior missionaries in the rural town of Colina, Chile. Most recently Lloyd felt deeply privileged to serve in the Salt Lake Temple.
Lloyd was largely a self-taught musician who composed several instrumental and choral numbers, enjoyed improvising on the piano and playing his organ. At different times in his life, Lloyd was drawn to pigeons, motorcycles and books on the cosmos. He enjoyed years of construction projects and recreation at the beloved "Mill" in rural St. Charles, Idaho. With tools, stain and sweat, he led the transformation of an old grain mill into an eclectic, inviting family gathering place.
His wife Catherine Edwards, children Elizabeth (Stephen) Simmons, Rebecca (David) Bennion, Emily (David) Sheffield, Cathy (Marc) Boyden, Michael (Tawna), Martha (Todd) Ethington, Andrew (Betsabe), John, twenty-seven grandchildren and one great grandchild, brothers Stuart (Helen), Keith (Linda), and sister Marva (Bob) Pothier are comforted to know Lloyd is once again vitally engaged on the other side of the veil alongside his son Stephen, his parents Hendrik and Ella, his brother Ronald (Anne), and sister Carol (Brent) Feltch.
The family feels deep gratitude to compassionate friends, neighbors and medical personnel who helped them care for Lloyd over the past months and years.
Better than flowers in Lloyd's memory would be contributions to the Temple Patron Assistance Fund.
Funeral services will be Saturday, April 19, 2014 at noon at the Monument Park 2nd Ward, 1005 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. A visitation will be Friday evening at the same location from 6-8pm and at 10:30am prior to services. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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