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Ex-A.G. John Swallow spent more than $200K on legal bills

Published: Monday, Jan. 13 2014 11:57 a.m. MST

Utah Attorney General John Swallow announces his resignation during a press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Attorney General John Swallow used campaign funds to pay more than $200,000 in legal fees last year.

Year-end state campaign finance reports show Swallow paid Clyde, Snow & Sessions $217,230, with more than two-thirds of it coming in the last four months of 2013. Swallow also paid the law firm $17,541 in December 2012, less than a month before the scandal broke that dogged his 11 months in office.

That state elections office has said campaign contributions may be used for attorney fees when the issues are related to the elected official's position.

In all, Swallow raised $154,600 and spent $295,800 last year, including $141,700 carried over from 2012. His current balance is about $550.

Swallow also paid the political consulting firm Guidant Strategies $55,600 in 2012.

The Utah House Special Investigative Committee reported last month that Guidant Strategies founder Jason Powers ran contributions to Swallow's 2012 campaign through a network of political action committees and nonprofit entities to hide their sources from the public.

Investigators for Salt Lake and Davis counties allege in court documents that the campaign falsified an Internal Revenue Service report to justify the nonprofit organization's expenses.

Swallow, who resigned in December, opened his own law office this month, according to the state Division of Corporations.

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