Utah prosecutors forward allegations against Sens. Mike Lee, Harry Reid to feds

Published: Friday, March 14 2014 1:25 p.m. MDT

The House report paints a damning picture of Swallow's own campaign activities leading up to his election as attorney general in 2012, saying he "hung a veritable 'for sale' sign" on his office door. The 200-page report included allegations of hiding campaign funds, doing favors for wealthy supporters and friends and destroying evidence.

The report also goes into detail about his relationship with Johnson, the one-time multimillionaire founder of the online marketing company iWorks.

Johnson claims Swallow helped arrange a $250,000 payment to a friend who had ties to Reid to derail a Federal Trade Commission investigation into iWorks. Reid has disavowed any knowledge of Johnson's case.

The FTC filed a civil complaint against Johnson in December 2010, which remains unsettled. Johnson also faces fraud charges in an 86-count federal indictment connected to iWorks.

Rawlings said the county investigation, in conjunction with the FBI and the Utah Department of Public Safety, is sweeping up a broad swath of evidence, but it is focused on Swallow and Shurtleff.

"I think it would be unfair to say we are currently investigating Sens. Reid and Lee at this time. But we are not going to ignore the scraps of evidence coming in about them. Do we plan on formally turning attention to all of the scraps picked up about them? We do plan on that,” Rawlings said.

Gill said state investigators have passed on information to their counterparts at the FBI because they can't investigate on a federal level.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah opened an investigation into Swallow and Shurtleff in early 2013 but turned it over the DOJ Public Integrity Section, which last September declined to file criminal charges against them.

The county prosecutors have expressed frustration that the DOJ investigation ended prematurely.

Gill said the House report is part of a larger "mosaic" and complements the investigation.

State investigators say they've conducted hundreds of interviews, combed through nearly 100,000 pages of documents and electronic files and issued search warrants and subpoenas. They're also looking at a state elections office report that says Swallow violated financial disclosure laws.

"We have a lot of information to digest and we're working aggressively to reach certain conclusions, but we're not there yet," he said.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsPolitics

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