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Utah Democratic lawyers call on DOJ to reopen Swallow investigation

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20 2014 9:09 p.m. MST

This Jan. 7, 2013 file photo shows Utah Attorney General John Swallow, left, being sworn in by Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant, right, at the Utah Sate Capitol Rotunda, in Salt Lake City. A Democratic lawyers group wants the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen its investigation of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Democratic lawyers group wants the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen its investigation of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

The Utah Democratic Lawyers Council asked Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter Thursday to investigate how the U.S. Attorney's Office handled the case.

Council president Blaine Carlton said there are significant questions about how the investigation could have overlooked the large amount of data missing from Swallow's electronic devices and computers that the Utah House Special Investigative Committee uncovered last fall.

“It is difficult to understand how the U.S. Attorney’s Office could have conducted the type of thorough investigation the public is entitled to without, at a minimum, looking at Mr. Swallow’s devices and electronic communications, and considering the extent of the missing data," Carlton said in a statement.

The DOJ told Swallow's lawyer that it would not file criminal charges in the case last September. The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah relinquished the investigation to the DOJ's Public Integrity Section last May.

Carlton said the DOJ and the Senate Judiciary Committee should look into the matter "to ensure that decisions are made based on merit, and on the basis of investigative findings, not on personal influence.”

Swallow, a Republican, resigned in December, two weeks before the House investigative committee issued a scathing report of its findings.

On Friday, the panel will discuss several campaign finance and election law changes spawned by the Swallow scandal.

Swallow remains the subject of a joint Salt Lake-Davis county criminal investigation.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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