House Dems call for formal investigation surrounding AG

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Utah House Democrats are ready to move forward, announcing Friday they are officially asking for an investigation into Attorney General John Swallow’s alleged wrongdoings.

Minority Assistant Whip Rebecca Chavez-Houck said the Democratic caucus waited to see if Swallow would resign, after several people called for him to step down, but he has not.

“We believe that the integrity of the Attorney General's Office is compromised on some level and for that reason, in order to restore public trust, we believe an investigation needs to begin,” Chavez-Houck said.

Moving forward, one of two things can happen. A special investigative committee can be called to determine if an impeachment process should start or the impeachment process can begin if House Republicans agree.

“It needs to be a bi-partisan effort,” Chavez-Houck said.

House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart said the Republican caucus isn’t ready to make a decision. She said members are still gathering information, reviewing documents and figuring out what an impeachment process might entail when and if they decide to move forward.

“We need to make sure that we do it properly and so that’s really the stage we’re in,” Lockhart said. “There’s no position. There’s no formal position. There’s no informal position.”

Lockhart said the issue will be discussed at a meeting on June 19.

Chavez-Houck said Democratic lawmakers have tried in the past to pass meaningful ethics reform that could avoid the challenges associated with election laws or campaign finances.

Swallow’s office has said before he has no plans to resign. Chavez-Houck said this is not a partisan issue and stepping down would have been in the best interest of the state.

“We wish that he would have come to that decision,” she added. “Again, I’ll just say the integrity of the office has been compromised.”

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