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Alliance for a Better Utah latest to call for A.G. John Swallow to resign

Published: Thursday, June 6 2013 6:21 p.m. MDT

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.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Alliance for a Better Utah is the latest organization to call for Attorney General John Swallow to resign.

"It's reached a fever pitch. We feel like it's time," Maryann Martindale, executive director of the left-leaning group, said Thursday.

Better Utah said it's no longer about whether Swallow committed a crime but about the harm he is causing to the attorney general's office and the state by staying on.

"Putting aside the apparent illegality of Swallow’s actions, he has still acted in a manner that is undoubtedly unethical and certainly unbecoming of the state’s leading law enforcement officer," according to a statement.

Swallow has said he hasn't committed a crime and has no plans to resign. He is the subject of federal, state and local investigations into his dealings with businessmen facing legal issues, as well as alleged election law violations.

Earlier this week, the Sutherland Institute, a conservative Utah public policy think tank, called on Swallow to step down to preserve the integrity of the attorney general's office. Two state lawmakers have also called for his resignation or at least a paid leave of absence.

House Republican leaders have briefed their ranks on the impeachment process, and the House GOP caucus is scheduled to discuss it June 19.

Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Fairview, said last week the state is approaching the point where the only way to restore the public trust will be to absolve Swallow from any wrongdoing or to remove him from office, and impeachment is the only way to do that.

Swallow, a Republican, has been speaking privately with members of the Utah House about his situation.

Martindale said private meetings are what got Swallow into trouble in the first place. The allegations, she said, are enough to merit impeachment proceedings.

"Should Swallow feel the need to explain to legislators his side of the story, then the House chamber is the proper place for him to do that," according to Better Utah.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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