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Special counsel called to investigate Attorney General

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A special counsel will investigate allegations of election violations against Attorney General John Swallow.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - It's been a bad week for Attorney General John Swallow.

First, convicted felon Marc Jenson claimed Swallow and former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff offered legal help in exchange for free food, golf and entertainment at a posh Newport Beach California villa Jenson owned.

“I was told on numerous occasions that that's exactly how business was done,” Jenson told reporters from the state prison where he is currently incarcerated. “It was foreign to me and uncomfortable to me. I felt like I was being shaken down.”

Both Swallow and Shurtleff denied any wrongdoing in their association with Jenson.

And now after months of investigating, the Lt. Governor's office found three of the 12 allegations have merit.

“We just couldn't get to a point where we could dismiss this with 100% certainty that there's nothing there,” says Deputy Chief Mark Thomas with the Lt. Governor’s office.

The office wants a special counsel to investigate whether Swallow failed to report a conflict of interest with two businesses; failed to report conflict of interest after earning $8500 with a Nevada cement plant and if those two allegations are true, he accused of making false statements on his financial disclosure statement.

Jason Powers who is Swallow’s campaign advisor offered this statement: “It is good news that nine of the allegations were dismissed summarily. We remain patient while the Elections Office seeks additional legal advice and are optimistic that the remaining allegations will be dismissed.”

But others aren’t as optimistic. A non-profit group is now calling for Swallow to be impeached.

“I think the public, we're done,” says Maryann Martindale with the Alliance for a Better Utah. “From a public perspective and citizens of Utah, we've had enough.”

Swallow is currently being investigated by the FBI and there have been two complaints filed with the Utah State Bar.

The House Minority leader says there is talk about impeachment. And it could get heated with the legislature meets next week.

“That (impeachment) certainly is one option and it may very well be the best one,” says Rep. Jennifer Seelig, House Minority Leader. “I just don't know right now and I want to make sure that all of the caucus members have an equal understanding of where we are and have a voice in our decision making process.”
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