Utah Dems call for independent probe of current, former AGs

Published: Monday, March 4 2013 1:39 p.m. MST

Utah Attorney General John Swallow speaks out Jan. 14, 2013 in his office at the state Capitol about allegations that he was involved in improper deals. The Utah Democratic Party called on Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the state's current and former attorneys general.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Democratic Party called on Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the state's current and former attorneys general.

Both Republican Attorney General John Swallow and his GOP predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, have been the subject of news reports alleging misconduct regarding relationships with campaign contributors.

Democrats want a special prosecutor to look into possible ethics violations and breaches of Utah law.

“Right now, it is the media and the feds that are investigating these incredibly serious charges, while the governor and the Republican supermajority are just twiddling their thumbs,” said Matt Lyon, executive director of the state Democratic Party.  

Lyon said the prosecutor should report back to the people of Utah to clear Swallow's and Shurtleff’s names or take appropriate legal action.

The FBI already is investigating Swallow's relationship with indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, who claims Swallow helped arrange a deal to payoff a U.S. senator to thwart a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Johnson's company.

Utah Democrats also called for lawmakers to create an independent ethics commission in the state's executive branch. A bill to that end is already making its way through the Legislature.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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