House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart (Republican, Provo), after revelations that Representative Lawry Snow (Republican, St. George) had connections to Jeremy Johnson, has decided to remove Snow as chair of the committee charged with investigating scandal-laden Republican Attorney General John Swallow.
Johnson was at the heart of the original allegations against Swallow in January and was the first of many allegations against the state’s top cop.
It was reported that Snow met with Lockhart earlier in the week to discuss the matter and, according to a statement by Lockhart, the decision to remove Snow was mutual.
“My top concern with the investigation of Attorney General Swallow was that it be conducted with integrity and transparency. I felt it was in the best interests of the committee to step aside in order to avoid any perception of conflict of interest,” Snow said. “This will allow the public to focus on the investigation, and not on who is doing the investigating.”
In the same statement, Lockhart announced Representative Jim Dunnigan (Republican, Taylorsville) will now chair the committee. An initial search reveals that Dunnigan has not contributed to Swallow in the past, nor was his name on a list of endorsers during his previous campaign.
Dunnigan has served in the state legislature for a decade and is chair of the House Business and Labor Committee and also serves on the House Political Subdivisions Committee and the House Special Investigative Committee.
The change also opened a spot on the committee that will be filled by Representative Francis Gibson (Republican, Mapleton). A quick search, again, reveals that Gibson made no contributions to Swallow, however he did lend his name as a “Leader for Swallow” on Swallow’s campaign website.