Investigation shows Attorney General violated election laws

Investigation shows Attorney General violated election laws

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A new investigation shows Attorney General John Swallow violated state election laws but there may not be any further punishment.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Attorney General John Swallow violated state election laws.
That’s the findings of the Lt. Governor’s investigation released Friday. But Swallow may escape further punishment because he’s already resigned.

“Special counsel has determined that there is sufficient evidence to find probable cause that john swallow violated the election code,” says Mark Thomas, director of the Elections Office.

Thomas says Swallow didn't know those results when he announced his resignation yesterday. He says Swallow got the report Friday morning. Thomas says no back room deals were made.

“Never at any time has there been any talk of a deal,” says Thomas. “The statute does not even provide that part of authority to us.”

Here's what the investigation found: donors Check City, Softwise, P Solutions, SSV Management and
Guidant Strategies all contributed more than $5,000 to his campaign but Swallow never reported it.
And the report also claimed a conflict of interest existed because Swallow had a personal stake in SSV Management and RMR consulting.
Investigators found “numerous inconsistencies between Swallow’s testimony and other evidence, as well as apparent implausible explanations that raise questions and suspicions about his credibility,” the report stated.
The following is from the report: “Most significantly, we learned that Swallow and his lawyers attempted to alter the
summaries of our interviews with witnesses by adding and subtracting language from witness statements we prepared and asked the witnesses to review, modify, and sign. In particular, they received a copy of a declaration prepared for Lee McCullough based on multiple meetings and telephone calls we had with him. They then added and subtracted language and McCullough then asked that we adopt their statements. Believing this compromised the integrity of our investigation, we felt it was necessary to take McCullough’s deposition to make sure the factual record was accurate and not the result of advocacy. For the same reason, we also deposed Cort Walker after his attorney said they had operated under a joint interest agreement with Swallow’s lawyer. Comparing McCullough’s testimony during the initial interviews we had with him before he spoke with Swallow and his lawyer, it was clear that McCullough’s later deposition testimony had been influenced by those conversations.

Perhaps the most significant lack of cooperation was the apparent document destruction that has been well-publicized in the press. Swallow was unable to produce an apparently massive amount of information because of a coincidence of lost or misplaced computer information, hard drive crashes, and issuance of new phones. At this point, many documents still are outstanding, as is a subpoena for Suzanne Swallow, whose deposition we continued due to a stated health issue. Despite multiple requests, Swallow and his lawyers have not produced her for deposition at the date of this report.”

But this is not a criminal case against Swallow, it's a civil matter. The only penalty is removal of office. But Swallow's already resigned.

“The Lt. Governor will see if there is a need to move forward perhaps there's not but perhaps there is,” says Thomas. “Perhaps the statute requires us to move forward.”
The FBI and district attorneys in Salt Lake and Davis County continue to investigate Swallow for possible criminal misconduct.
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