Swallow defends himself, office in light of missing data

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Utah Attorney General John Swallow is defending himself and his Office after reports that some members of the special legislative committee said he was not cooperating in the investigation surrounding him.

“When I heard that legislative committee had come out and talked about how we weren’t cooperating, I thought I need to come out and tell the truth here,” Swallow said. “We are cooperating and that’s disingenuous for them to report that we’re not.”

Attorney Steve Reich for the special legislative committee investigation Swallow said Tuesday that the amount of missing data and other electronic documents is worrisome. The missing or lost data includes files from Swallow’s state-issued computer, laptop, hand held data device, cell phone and personal home computer dating back to 2009.

Swallow said the comment implies he did something wrong, when he hasn’t. He said his office upgraded technology in the Summer of 2012, he replaced his personal cell phone and his home computer crashed in early 2013.

“Yes it does seem a little bit interesting that I changed out two computers at work and then my home computer crashes, but who hasn’t had a home computer crash?” Swallow asked.

Swallow said he is working with a computer specialist to recover any lost data files or emails and has already handed over approximately 3,000 documents to the special legislative committee.

Committee Chair Jim Dunnigan made it clear Thursday that the Attorney General’s Office is cooperating and doing their part.

“The committee is determined to be fair and thorough and fair not only to the people of Utah to determine what the facts are, but also we want to be fair to the Attorney General,” he said.

But Swallow feels the committee is on a witch hunt.

“Are they trying to justify spending $800,000 and trying to hook the state a little tighter and say we have to move forward because there is something sinister going on here,” he said.

Swallow said as long as he is cooperating, he wants to get credit for it. He is concerned about the cloud hanging over his Office and said the investigation has been draining on his family and resources.

Dunnigan said if the committee can’t recover the lost data, they will look into other avenues to try and determine if the allegations of wrongdoing against Swallow are factual.

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