Payday loan firm seeks to quash subpoena in Swallow investigation

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7 2013 5:45 p.m. MST

Utah Attorney General John Swallow speaks to the media after a Republican House Caucus meeting to discuss impeachment at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A payday loan software company that once employed Utah Attorney General John Swallow wants a judge to quash a subpoena it received from the Utah House special investigative committee.

Provo-based Softwise Inc. deemed the demand for information as "nothing more than a fishing expedition," according to a motion filed Thursday in 3rd District Court.

The motion contends the subpoena seeks confidential and proprietary documents that go well beyond the committee's authority and raises issues of privacy, constitutional protection and free enterprise.

"The subpoena demanded that Softwise produce a range of documents that are unrelated to Mr. Swallow’s conduct as the deputy or head of the attorney general’s office," Softwise President Tracy Rawle wrote in a declaration supporting the motion.

Rawle's father, the late Richard M. Rawle, founded the payday loan company Check City.

Swallow introduced St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson to Richard Rawle in 2010 as someone who could arrange to lobby the Federal Trade Commission on Johnnson's behalf. The FTC was investigating Johnson's Internet marketing company, iWorks.

Johnson claims part of the arrangement included a payoff for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to derail the FTC probe. Reid has denied any knowledge of Johnson's company. Swallow called Johnson's story a "fabrication."

Swallow also received $23,500 for consulting work on a cement plant project Richard Rawle had in Nevada.

The House committee subpoena seeks, among other information, all communications between Rawle and Johnson and several others connected to Swallow.

Softwise and House committee attorneys tried but failed to reach an agreement that would limit the documents the company would turn over.

Tracy Rawle wrote that Softwise wants to work with the committee and has facilitated interviews with two witnesses, but also wants to protects its business.

According to Tracy Rawle, Softwise produced "numerous" documents in response to a request from the lieutenant governor's office, which is looking into allegations that Swallow violated state campaign finance reporting laws related to his work for Richard Rawle.

Tracy Rawle said the company couldn't come to the same confidentiality agreement with the House committee.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsPolitics

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