The US Department of Justice announced Thursday it would not press charges against current Utah Attorney General John Swallow or his predecessor Mark Shurtleff over allegations of bribery. Swallow still faces four ongoing investigations by Salt Lake and Davis County Attorneys assisted by the FBI, the state elections office and possible impeachment by the Utah House of Representatives. He also faces two complaints with the Utah State Bar.
Swallow was understandably pleased with the outcome of this initial investigation, saying it was expected. He told the Salt Lake Tribune, “I uniquely know what I did and didn’t do and, as I’ve said all along, I didn’t do the things that were alleged against me which caused this whole storm to break.” Swallow maintains the allegations were politically motivated.
The House committee requested help from the public Wednesday asking anyone with any knowledge Swallow’s wrongdoing to come forward. Swallow reacted by saying, “I am shocked. They seem to be looking for an allegation. They are acting like they don’t have things to look at, so they’re asking people who may not like the office, maybe they’ve been put in prison, maybe a disgruntled employee, anyone who I’ve ever interacted with to come forward with information.” He also said, “This is new and ultra-aggressive. Are they so intent on finding something they’ll do this to the attorney general?”
According to Jim Dunnigan-R, Taylorsville, chair of the House Committee, “The mission of the committee has not changed.”
Department of Justice spokesperson Peter Carr has declined to comment on the decision not to charge Swallow and Shurtleff “as a matter of policy.” The department only addresses possible violations of federal law, and the only allegation dropped was a single count of bribery in the Jeremy Johnson case. Swallow still faces possible criminal charges and civil actions as well as charges for ethical violations under state law.
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Source: Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Alliance for a Better Utah, KUTV News, FOX13 News