Report: Attorney General John Swallow violated Utah election laws
The special counsel found Swallow failed to disclose income from Check City, P-Solutions, Guidant Strategies and RMR Consulting totaling $58,117. He also left off his position as manager of SSV Management and P-Solutions, a limited liability company and a consulting firm, respectively.
The omissions were "planned and deliberate" on two separate campaign filings, one on March 9, 2012, and the other March 15, 2012, according to the report.
Swallow withdrew as manager of SSV Management and P-Solutions on March 15, the same day he filed the second conflict of interest form. He told the special counsel in a deposition cited in the report that his intent was to send a message to voters that he wanted to be the attorney general "100 percent of the time for the public if I won."
But Lee McCullough, an estate planning attorney with whom Swallow consulted, told the special counsel that Swallow didn't want P-Solutions to come up in his campaign.
The special counsel concluded that "attempting to send a message by omitting required disclosures about his former and continuing business relationships was misleading because voters reasonably may infer the opposite."
During Thursday's news conference announcing his resignation, Swallow again maintained he has broken no laws and that he is innocent of all the allegations made against him.
Swallow said he relied on the advice of McCullough and assistant attorney general Thom Roberts that he not include the income and business associations on his disclosure forms.
"In hindsight, if I'd known it would be an issue at all, I would have just included them anyway. The problem with that was I had to sign on the line saying that what I was writing was true and accurate to the best of my belief," Swallow said Thursday. "But you just don't know when something might become an issue later on."
It became in issue when Swallow introduced St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson to his former Check City boss Richard M. Rawle 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 and ran the money through a firm he set up called RMR Consulting.
In an affidavit before he died, Rawle said he paid lobbyists with part 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.
Swallow later returned the check, which came from the RMR account, and asked that it come from another account. Rawle then paid him from another account.
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