Editorial – The 3 Holes In The John Swallow Controversy

John Swallow, utah, attorney general, republican

Utah Attorney General, John Swallow (R)

As the storm continues to swirl around our newly inaugurated Attorney General John Swallow, we’ve noticed 3 main holes in the story that we would like answered before making any judgments about Mr. Swallow’s guilt or innocence.

Late Friday, the Salt Lake Tribune broke the news that Attorney General John Swallow (Republican) is being accused, along with the late owner of Check City (and Swallow’s former employer) Richard Rawle, of facilitating an attempt to bribe the Federal Government so a pending lawsuit by the FTC against Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson would be dropped.

After the lawsuit moved forward and Johnson was arrested anyway, he went public with what Swallow had allegedly done, providing documents, emails and secretly recorded meetings to the Tribune.

See their full story here.

Earlier today, the Daily Herald newspaper called for the immediate resignation of Swallow – claiming that the allegations were enough to permanently destroy his credibility and ability to represent the people of Utah in court.

With a story this big, there’s no chance we’ve heard all there is to hear yet, so rather than make an early judgement as to whether Swallow is guilty as accused or not, we would like to see these 3 points clarified.

  1. If the money that Mr. Swallow took from Jeremy Johnson was legal and completely above the table, why did Mr. Swallow choose not to disclose it on his financial disclosures during the election.
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  2. If, as Swallow claims, the $600,000 was truly just for lobbying  and not for a bribe, then why did the company formed to accept the money from Johnson never hire or register any lobbyists?
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  3. If he knew these allegations were coming back in 2011, and would look as bad as they do, why did Swallow choose not to disclose any of this to the public before the election. Did he not feel this was information people should have when making their decisions in the voting booth?

All the facts of this story are not known yet. Perhaps AG Swallow is guilty or perhaps he’s innocent, we just don’t know yet. The Utah Democratic Party announced yesterday that they were calling on the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, to appoint a special prosecutor to come to Utah and independently investigate the allegations. They’ve also asked the Utah Republican Party, Governor Herbert, and Swallow himself to join them in their call, but no response has been heard back yet.

That seems to be the best route for Utah at the moment. Our Attorney General needs to be above reproach if he is to effectively represent the interests of the people of Utah in court. As such, we would hope Mr. Swallow would welcome the opportunity for an independent investigation. If he’s innocent and being falsely accused, there’s no better way to prove it and regain the trust of Utahns.

13 comments for “Editorial – The 3 Holes In The John Swallow Controversy

  1. Drew
    January 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Former Utah A.G. Mark Shurtleff needs to be questioned about his role in this mess as well. Remember, he was made aware of it and didn’t pursue an investigation.

    • Renate Riggs
      January 14, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Good point. He actually endorsed Swallow even though he was aware of these issues.

  2. January 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Even if Swallow were to resign his office a Republican would still take his seat, so why leave the race and have the GOP possibly lose the office like they did in the Corroon/Workman race?

    I appreciate the attitude of your post and I think you have some great questions and suggestions.

    Best of luck with Utah Political Capitol!

  3. Kris Baker
    January 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    It’s time for Utah voters to rethink their automatic votes.

    Swallow was swept in on the thin coat tails of Mitt Romney, and the entire Republican slate received little scrutiny.

    Any political name mentioned in the same sentence as the name Jeremy Johnson, must be included in a full investigation. Bring in the DOJ and the FBI.

  4. Marc
    January 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

    There needs to be swift justice here. I do not live in Utah, but I understand that is quickly acquiring a reputation for corruption. Guys such as Swallow will continue to swear their innocence even when they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

  5. Manuel Serrano
    January 14, 2013 at 8:40 am

    What about the Judges who work hand and hand with the Prosecutors and the Police to ruin individuals who are not Mormons from top positions. This State hates Native Americans , Mexicans, or People of Color. The judges of 5th District Court made sure Warren Jeffs did’nt get prosecuted in Utah and charges were dropped. Ever notice the Prosecutors and Judges are mostly Mormons? You can’t get a fair trial if the Police Chiefs, Prosecutors, Judges, and Defense Attorneys are all LDS ( Mormons ). ( No Justice just Corruption )

    • Ty
      January 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Spot on Manuel!!! They all are corrupt and have special interests

  6. Ty
    January 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    This involves Mark Shurttleff, The Division of Consumer Protections, and The governor of Utah along with many other lobbyists. This isn’t the first time these crooks have had people “pay to play” these stories are recent but this crap has been going on for years unfortunately

    http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/blog-26-8916-the-political-intrigue-of-jeremy-johnson-and-john-swallow.html

    http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-77-15987-campaign-confidential.html

  7. Joy New
    January 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    1. He didn’t take money from Johnson – even according to Johnson. All payments were made to the lobbying company.

    2. That’s a question for investigators to ask the company Johnson actually hired. Swallow’s only involvement was to make an introduction.

    3. Disclosing an introduction? You have got to be kidding me. Even if you take all of Johnson’s claims at face value, there is no criminal or even unethical act in telling someone you can’t help them but these guys over here might.

    I think the fact that Johnson’s intent was to bribe the US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, an incredibly illegal act, all accusations from this criminal become suspect as an attempt to divert attention away from him and onto a high profile figure.

  8. Kent
    January 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Utah is hands down the defacto CAPITAL of fraudulent business operations in the United States. The problem is MASSIVE and corruption runs DEEP. The only thing that is going to clean up Utah is for the FEDS to come in and thoroughly sweep from top to bottom, and that could take a long time, if it were to ever happen. In the meantime, it’s “fraud as usual.” Perhaps an appropriate name for a pro sports team in Utah would be, “The Fraudsters.”

  9. Ginny Gardner
    January 16, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Having some history within Utah politics, I can tell you that this is only the tip of the iceberg named Fraud. The writer was correct who said Shurtleff should be investigated. So should his appointed assistants and other “leaders” within the long-time corrupt AG’s office. Neither Shurtleff nor his cronies were able to actually do the work they were paid to do because there wasn’t time for it; their energies went to cover-ups and paybacks both political and financial. There must be a clean sweep of the AG’s office for any semblance of honesty, decency and accountability to be restored to what should be the most above-board operation in the state. As for Swallow, SERIOUSLY, can anyone possibly consider him a man of ethics and honor knowing he sees no problem with being involved IN ANY WAY with bribery of high level government officials?! Put the Reyes qualifications next to the non-qualifications of Swallow and it is crystal clear that money and connections get people elected, not qualifications and character. Open your eyes UTAH, please. There must be change.

  10. Vik Arnold
    January 17, 2013 at 8:16 am

    It’s too bad that, when an elected official is forced to resign from office, (as may happen in this case), the runner-up candidate, regardless of party, doesn’t get to replace the outgoing official. Rather than reward the Party that supported a flawed candidate by allowing them to choose a replacement, the Party and the candidate should suffer the consequences of poor judgement, with the candidate who was the citizens’ second choice being rewarded. If this were standard procedure, perhaps political parties would think twice before supporting candidates with questionable track records.

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