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Lt. Governor will take no civil action against AG

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Utah Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox has reviewed the final report and decided there will be no action as part of the Election Office's investigation into Attorney General, John Swallow.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Utah Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox has reviewed the final report and decided there will be no action as part of the Election Office's investigation into Attorney General, John Swallow.

"I’ve determined the statutory remedy has already been accomplished with the resignation of Attorney General, John Swallow and therefore will take no formal civil action," said Cox.

Cox will forward the findings to the Salt Lake and Davis County District Attorneys and the House Investigative Committee.

Those investigations could still lead to criminal charges and changes to state election laws.

Cox also disputed an effort by the Utah Democratic Party to call for a special election.

Cox says if they move forward with their lawsuit and are successful it likely wouldn't happen until November, 2014.

That's when Swallow's replacement would be on the ballot for Utah voters anyway.

Cox estimates a special election could cost Utah taxpayers up to $6,000,000.

"I want to make this very clear! We've been unable, under Utah law to find any lawful mechanism to hold a special election for a candidate under any circumstances," said Cox.

Utah Democratic Party Chairman, Jim Dabakas maintains there is a strong legal standing for the lawsuit, but there is room for compromise.

"I hope the Governor, the Republican Party and the democrats can come together and say, this is what ought to happen after the horror of the last few years," said Dabakas.

He is supporting a solution suggested by Republican Senator, John Valentine, widely believed to be a front runner to replace Swallow.

Wednesday, Valentine dropped out of consideration.

He tells ABC 4 Utah he's keeping the option open to run for Attorney General in November, 2014.

Meantime, he says whoever the Governor appoints needs to focus on the job of restoring trust, not raising money and campaigning to keep the position.

"The culture should not be about raising money for the next election. The culture should be about being the best attorneys the state can offer," said Valentine.

He believes that will happen only if the Governor appoints someone who will take over on an interim basis and has no interest in running to keep the position.

It’s an idea with bipartisan support, which could keep the issue out of court.

"Let's get a very eminent Utah attorney, let's bring them in, let's give them cart blanche to go in and change the culture in that Attorney General's Office," said Dabakas.

Whether that will happen is up to the Republican Party and the Governor.

Cox also addressed the idea of Swallow staying in office until December to get his pension.

The Lt. Governor noted that if swallow is convicted on criminal charges down the road he would not be eligible for those benefits.

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