Utah A.G. John Swallow: 'No way to convince people I'm innocent'
He said he hadn't thought about stepping down until four days before he announced it on Nov. 21 and that a long-planned vacation over Thanksgiving didn't leave time for a transition.
Swallow said he resigned due to the strain that the Utah House special committee investigation was having on him, his family and his finances.
The state elections office released a report the day after Swallow made his announcement, outlining five instances of probable cause that Swallow broke campaign finance reporting law.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox declined to seek a civil complaint against Swallow, but he handed the scathing report to two county attorneys to review for possible criminal charges.
Because that would have been a civil action, Cox said the state has no authority to bar Swallow from drawing a pension. But if Swallow were convicted in criminal court of breaking election laws, he would not be entitled to the benefits of his job, he said.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings intend to use the report in their ongoing investigation. The two county attorneys, along with investigators from the FBI and the Utah Department of Public Safety, have been looking into a variety of allegations against Swallow since at least February.
Breaking state election laws could result in misdemeanor charges against Swallow. The joint investigation is anticipated to continue into next year.
The bipartisan House panel intends to meet Saturday to wind down its investigation, said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, the committee chairman. Its investigators have interviewed 140 witnesses and the committee has issued 15 subpoenas, several of which are being challenged in court.
The committee still must issue a report of its findings, which likely will include proposed changes to state election laws. A finished report isn't expected for weeks if not months.
Swallow also is the subject of a complaint with the Utah State Bar, a complaint which apparently remains outstanding.
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