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Legislative Investigative Committee named for Swallow investigation

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A special legislative committee was named Wednesday at the end of a Special Session to investigate embattled Attorney General John Swallow.
 (ABC 4 News)
(ABC 4 News)
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A special legislative committee was named Wednesday at the end of a Special Session to investigate embattled Attorney General John Swallow.

Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart appointed five Republicans and four Democrats to the nine member committee.

According to Lockhart, political parties did not matter when it came to her choices.

“This is not a partisan issue,” she said. “This is an issue about public trust.”

The committee includes Republican Representatives Lowry Snow, Brad Dee, Jim Dunnigan, Lee Perry and Mike McKell. The Democratic Representatives include Jennifer Seelig, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Lynn Hemingway and Susan Duckworth.

Click here for access to biographies and contact information for the chosen representatives.

House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig said she is satisfied with the make up of the committee.

“I do believe five [Republicans] and four [Democrats] is fair,” she said. “It eliminates the variable of party politics.”

Hours of debate in Wednesday’s Special Session set the ground rules for what will happen during the legislative investigation.

Lawmakers voted to give the committee subpoena powers, the ability to hire outside attorneys, and grant immunity to people for crimes or immunity from the statements they make during the investigation.

More importantly, lawmakers voted to keep parts of the process private, even though they’re aiming for transparency.

“It is our intent to have as much as this committee’s work as open as possible,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart said closed door meetings might be necessary so information or testimony

At the end of the day, the members of the committee said they will just be looking for the facts.

“We want to get to the bottom of the situation,” Seelig added. “We want to help restore public trust. It will be an opportunity to ask questions and to listen and to deliberate.”

Lockhart said they still have not set a date as to when the legislative investigation into Swallow will start.

It also remains unclear how much money the investigation will cost taxpayers. A bill voted down during the Special Session would have put a $500,000 spending cap on the investigation.

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