Special counsel set to report findings in John Swallow elections violations probe

By Dennis Romboy

By Lisa Riley Roche

By Sammy Linebaugh

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20 2013 7:20 p.m. MST

Fellows said it’s yet to be decided in Utah whether office holders can be impeached for “unethical or inappropriate acts that might not rise to the level of crimes.”

The elections complaint claims Swallow failed to disclose his interest in several business entities and income from three, including RMR Consulting.

The late Richard M. Rawle set up RMR Consulting after Swallow introduced him to St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson as someone who could help lobby the Federal Trade Commission on Johnson's behalf. The FTC was investigating Johnson's Internet marketing company in 2010.

Johnson claims Swallow helped arrange a deal to pay off a U.S. senator to thwart the investigation. Johnson and an associate paid Rawle $250,000.

In an affidavit before he died, Rawle said he paid lobbyists with a portion of the money and took $50,000 for his fee, part of which he used to pay "miscellaneous" expenses. One of those bills was from P Solutions for consulting work that Swallow did on a cement project Rawle had in Nevada.

P Solutions later returned the check, which came from the RMR account, and asked that it come from another account. Rawle then paid P Solutions $23,500 from another account, according to the affidavit.

Swallow filed a response to the petition through his attorneys in April, saying the claims were without merit and politically motivated

Swallow's estate planning attorney, Lee McCullough III, formed P Solutions as a subsidiary of a blind family trust and limited liability company, SSV Management, he had set up for Swallow's family, according to the response.

"At no time did Mr. Swallow receive any income, distributions or payment for services from P Solutions, nor was Mr. Swallow compensated directly by Mr. Rawle for consulting work," according to the response. All disbursements from P Solutions were made to Swallow's wife, Suzanne.

According to the response, Swallow never had any ownership interest in P Solutions but had served as a manager. McCullough advised him that if he resigned as an unpaid manager before the campaign filing deadline, he would not have to disclose P Solutions on his forms, which is what Swallow did.

Swallow faces the possibility of being removed from office if he is found to be in violation of state elections law. His attorneys, however, dispute that, arguing the Utah Constitution provides only for removal through impeachment conducted by the Utah Legislature.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, lisa@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsPolitics

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