Swallow has denied the allegations but said he put Johnson in touch with a friend and former client, Richard Rawle. In an affidavit signed three days before his death last month, Rawle said he paid Swallow $23,500 out of the $250,000 he collected from Johnson and a business associate.
Rawle’s family issued a statement late Friday calling Johnson’s accusations “nothing more than a ‘last-ditch effort” to try and influence the current ongoing federal prosecution.” Their statement said Rawle’s consulting company provided Johnson with “nothing more than standard government relations work.”
Murphy issued a statement Friday about Swallow’s consulting work as former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s chief deputy, noting Swallow “complied comfortably” with state statutes and office policy.
Shurtleff also backed Swallow in the statement. “From what I have learned about John Swallow’s out-of-state consulting arrangement with Richard Rawle, I believe John has complied with the policy as I have enforced it during my administration.”
Murphy said in an interview that “hopefully, the truth will come out quickly.” He said Swallow is not feeling any political pressure to leave office.
“He is not. He has kept legislators and the governor and every other individual informed,” Murphy said. “No one is calling up John and saying, ‘John you really have to get out of here.’ “
Should Swallow leave office, it would be up to the Utah State GOP central committee to submit three candidates for attorney general to Gov. Gary Herbert, who makes the final choice. A special election for the remainder of Swallow’s four-year term would be held in 2014.
Among other names circulating as possible replacements for Swallow are Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and Brian Tarbet, the retired Utah National Guard commander recently named counsel to the attorney general, as well as Swallow’s GOP primary opponent. Sean Reyes.
The Utah GOP has not commented on Swallow’s situation. The central committee isn’t scheduled to meet until mid-February and could consider some sort of reprimand against Swallow.
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