On Monday after less than two weeks in office, Utah Attorney General John Swallow joined the call initiated by the Utah Democratic Party and others for an investigation into allegations he helped secure a bribe for a federal defendant that could make that defendant’s case “go away.”
St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, who is facing federal charges of mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering for allegedly selling products and services through his company iWorks that people had not ordered, maintains an agreement was put together in 2010 that involved Swallow. That deal, according to Johnson, was to use $600,000 to purchase the services of a lobbyist who would then influence US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to intervene in the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of Johnson’s business. Reid’s office denies any connection with the scheme.
Last Friday, Johnson was to enter a guilty plea for a charge of mail fraud. That deal fell apart after he submitted a list of people he wanted to protect from prosecution. Reports say Swallow was on that list.
Swallow has “categorically” denied the allegations, but did say he offered to connect Johnson with a lobbying firm. Swallow says he told Johnson he would not interfere with the FTC investigation nor advocate for him with the US attorney. Swallow maintains he did not participate in any agreement and did receive any payment.
On Monday, Swallow said in a letter to US Attorney for Utah David Barlow asking for the investigation, “I expect no special treatment. I do not hold myself or anyone else above the law.” Barlow replied that such matters are investigated by the FBI and federal prosecutors, and that any information provided by Swallow or others will be carefully reviewed and appropriate action will be taken.
The Utah Democratic Party has produced on online petition calling for an independent investigation of the Attorney General. The Alliance for a Better Utah has asked the Utah Bar Association to investigate his activities, and determine whether Swallow should be disbarred or reprimanded for violations of rules of professional conduct.
Please take a moment and comment on this article below. Click on subscribe to receive an e-mail when Alison publishes new articles. Alison is also Books Examiner, Social Issues Examiner, Community Issues Examiner and Salt Lake City Comfort Food Examiner. For a link to all of Alison’s political articles, please click here. Thank you.
Source: Associated Press, Utah Democratic Party, Alliance for a Better Utah, Deseret News