Swallow 'transitioning' to new legal representation

Published: Wednesday, June 18 2014 10:09 p.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014 10:09 p.m. MDT

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is in the process of switching attorneys, his attorney Rod Snow confirmed Tuesday. Snow said it was a mutual decision.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is in the process of retaining new counsel, his attorney Rod Snow confirmed Tuesday.

The decision was "mutual," Snow wrote in an email to the Deseret News.

"There are several reasons which motivated the decision at this time which John and the firm discussed at length. We are not at liberty to provide further detail. However, it was agreed it would be in John's best interest to make the move now," Snow wrote.

Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, are targets of a monthslong criminal investigation by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings into alleged wrongdoing in the attorney general's office. The FBI and Utah Department of Public Safety also are taking part in the the probe.

Aside from the ongoing criminal investigation, a Utah House Special Investigative Committee report said Swallow's 2012 election campaign devised a strategy to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the payday loan industry and that he destroyed data and created false documents. It also alleges he deliberately deleted information in computer files and other electronic devices.

Swallow resigned from office last December after 11 months in office.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section investigated Shurtleff and Swallow for several months last year but declined to file criminal charges.

Snow wrote that the change in representation likely will happen next week.

"We have enjoyed getting to know and work with the real John Swallow who is not the one that has been unfairly maligned in the press and by those with a political agenda. We remain hopeful John will be exonerated from any alleged criminal wrongdoing," Snow wrote.

A telephone message left at the last known telephone number for Swallow was not returned.

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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