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House investigative committee picks special counsel

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – There’s a new development in the investigation into Utah Attorney General John Swallow. The House committee in charge of looking into allegations against Swallow has chosen a law firm to act as special counsel.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – There’s a new development in the investigation into Utah Attorney General John Swallow. The House committee in charge of looking into allegations against Swallow has chosen a law firm to act as special counsel.

This basically means the investigation into the Attorney General can finally begin. For Utah this is the first time, lawmakers have done anything like this, but the law firm they picked to do it, has got a lot of high profile experience.

A committee of state lawmakers has now picked a law firm to investigate the possible wrongdoings of Utah Attorney General John Swallow, and it's getting praise from at least one political expert.

"I think it's a very wise decision today," said Eric Ethington, utahpoliticalcapitol.com.

Eric Ethington is the Managing Editor of utahpoliticalcapitol.com. He said the committee's choice to pick international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Llp. shows a strong commitment to the investigation.

"The choice of this law firm is going to easily make sure this is done right," said Ethington.

Akin Gump is familiar with scandal. They worked for congress during impeachment proceedings for former President Bill Clinton, and did the same for Connecticutt considering impeaching their state's Governor. If you ask Ethington, now that Akin Gump is on the case, it has two clear implications.

"I do think the significance of this firm being chosen tells us two things, one is the gravity of the charges that are coming against our Attorney General, but in all of our research and analysis we've not been able to find another sitting politician who has faced as serious charges as Mr. Swallow has, who hasn't resigned from office, just to spare the cost of the taxpayers the cost of the investigation," said Ethington.

From what Ethington is hearing, the cost might be as much as $3 million. He said the firm may start calling witnesses this winter, but the investigation could stretch well into 2014.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv
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