Utah State Bar Closes Investigation on AG John Swallow

Utah Republican Attorney General, John Swallow
Utah Attorney General, John Swallow – Republican

In an email released Sunday from Paul Murphy, Director of Communications for the Attorney General’s office, the Utah State Bar has closed its investigation against John Swallow with no further action taking place.

The October 8th letter from the Bar states that it “decline[s] to prosecute the matter and the case will be closed.” This response is similar to the response Swallow received in early September when the Department of Justice declined to further investigate Swallow.

There are multiple reasons as to why a case could be closed: lack of evidence showing wrongdoing, evidence that fails to meet a certain legal or procedural threshold, or a desire by investigators to cut a deal are just three possible reasons the Bar, DOJ, or any other investigation may not move forward.

“I am grateful to the Bar for its careful consideration of the allegations and for its reasoned analysis in closing the case,” says Swallow in Sunday’s press release. “Despite the early rush to judgment, it is now becoming clear that people with an agenda have made unsubstantiated allegations.”

The complaint was brought forth by Alliance for a Better Utah (ABU) in January. In a UPC report, ABU Executive Director Maryann Martindale told UPC that the reason for the request for investigation was that, “as an attorney, [Swallow] has to comply with the Utah Code of Professional Conduct that’s been upheld by the Utah Supreme Court. We feel like ethics are just as important as the potential legal breach.”

“It is unfortunate that they have not taken this allegation as seriously as we had hoped,” Martindale said in a phone interview immediately after hearing of the notice. “Two attorneys reviewed the complaint before ABU submitted it, and in that submission, we thoroughly reviewed the code of conduct and felt our complaints were legitimate. Our agenda is the truth, ethical government, and transparency, if [the Attorney General’s Office] does not have that same agenda, there is a serious problem.”

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