Constitutional Law

Utah's attorney general resigns amid probes


Utah Attorney General John Swallow announced Thursday that he will resign from office, effective Dec. 3, saying that ongoing investigations of claimed election-law violations and other issues are taking too much of a toll.

“Now is the time for the madness to stop and for the state to move forward,” he said during a state Capitol press conference Thursday, citing mounting legal defense costs. The state house of representatives, Swallow contended, was trying to drive him out of office, and a probe there has been ongoing for months that could possibly have resulted in his impeachment, according to the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune.

A bribery investigation of Swallow by the U.S. Department of Justice was closed in September with no plan to file any charges against him. However, a special counsel appointed to work with the lieutenant governor’s office is expected to issue a report on possible election-law violations by Swallow in the near future and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said a criminal investigation of the AG by his office is ongoing and will not be affected by his resignation.

Swallow’s resignation, which is unprecedented in the state’s history, will allow the governor to appoint his replacement, keeping control over the office in Republican hands until a special election to replace him is held in November, according to the Associated Press.

A legal ethics complaint against Swallow, made to the Utah State Bar, is pending.

See also:

Deseret News: ” Special counsel set to report findings in John Swallow elections violations probe”

Salt Lake Tribune: “Sources: Judge may invalidate Swallow’s election”

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