Comments about ‘In our opinion: Restoring confidence in the Utah attorney general's office’

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Published: Friday, April 25 2014 6:31 p.m. MDT

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Springville, UT

I'm quite certain that Mr. Reyes has integrity and is doing his best to restore confidence in the AG Office. A lot will need to be done to re-build morale with staff. It would go a long way to have a full and complete investigation into the two prior AGs. Who knows what else went on. But at minimum, Shurtleff and Swallow hanging out with guys under investigation and personally benefiting from it is, at minimum, unseemly and corrosive. The ethical issues are beyond distasteful. It will say a lot about elected officials, the courts, the bar association, the GOP and the system if this is swept under the rug. It will show that corruption here is really on par at least with pretty much anywhere else in the country. I expect more from a society that is dominated by people of faith (allegedly).

South Jordan, UT

The last ethical Attorney General Utah had was Jan Graham. The last Democrat elected as Attorney General was Jan Graham. The people need to stop voting for Republicans who run for AG simply to line their pockets/the pockets of their buddies.

Fruit Heights, Utah

DNews you nailed the right concerns on this one. It is too bad Gvoernor Herbert did not listen to anyone except the Republican party hacks and instead of appointing someone who would clean up the office and restore integrity instead appointed a polictical supporter who will use the appointment to simply get re-elected. There is no doubt he will make cosmetic changes and then do high fives around the capital but real, down to the roots, remove any scent of impropriety changes will not happen because he will spend all his time trying to get re-elected or planing his gubentorial or congressional run. Won't matter now how much lipstick or perfume is put on this pig it is still a pig. Sad that the party of Lincoln has so completely lost its way.

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

Question of the day

Who has more retail outlets the fast food establishments such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Taco Bell and all the others or Pay Day Loan Lenders?

Answer there are more pay day loan offices in Utah than fast food establishments. Yes it is hard to understand.

My thought is perhaps they are wielding to much power in our state. They seem to have a lot of money to contribute to political candidates.

I am disappointed that the Legislature did not do more to control them.

We live in a supposedly Christian state. The amount of money they charge the poor for loans is not Christian in my opinion.

Another question does Utah have any limit what so ever on the amount of interest money that can be charged by these folks. Why not?

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Can an AG who was formerly a patent troll attorney who used dubious patents to extort money from businesses across the country actually inspire confidence? See Etagz V Flambeau et al in the Federal Court, particularly the order filed 01/09/14 that demonstrates just how spurious the patent claims were. Then look at the other 32 cases filed by Etagz and Mr. Reyes in Utah since 2010 on the same flimsy claim and wonder how many of those victims decided to pay the "licensing fees" rather than fight it in court. The patent trolls prey on fear and misunderstanding and generally make a lot of money because its cheaper to pay the "licensing fee" than to fight the claim in court. We have an AG who made a living on what many consider unethical behavior who will now be policing that same industry and many others. Hooray for Flambeau for having the courage to stand up to this kind of practice. Sad for us that Governor Herbert minimized this issue when making the appointment. Even more sad for the good people of Utah is that the Democrat in the race is so far left he isn't a viable option either.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO it's not the attorney general’s office that was at fault. It was the attorney general himself.

That person is gone now... so THAT problem is solved.

We should not blame the OFFICE... for what the man did.

Our job now is to prevent this from happening in the future.

To do that... the only solution I can think of is for the VOTERS to get to know their candidates better. Know their personality (and their level of integrity). Seek out people who know them personally (not just fans, or people campaigning for them). Maybe talk to your neighborhood convention delegates (who get to meet him, correspond with him, and ask questions and evaluate the tone of his answers).

The 3 delegates I confronted about Swallow all said they got a bad feeling from him. They didn't know about THIS specific problem but they thought he shouldn't be in office, and didn't vote for him.

His toughest challenge was Convention. Barely got by... Less than 10% margin. But won by 2-to-1 margin in party primary and the general election.

Shows how easy the public is to fool if you have endorsements and good advertisers...

Bountiful, UT

@isrred Perhaps it would be fair to point out that the only AG's since Jan Graham are Shurtleff, Swallow, and Reyes. Shurtleff got through the office before voters began to think his integrity was questionable so that was a GOP fail. Swallow served less than a year before being forced out and was very energetically opposed by many of the rank-and-file members of the GOP both before and after he became the nominee. That's hardly a highlight for the GOP but he didn't enjoy universal support within the party. It's too soon to tell with Reyes.

To read your post one could easily and wrongly assume that there had been a long string of unethical GOP AGs since Jan Graham.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Yes, yes... I'm sure only Democrats are "ethical" and only Republicans are "corrupt"...

It's this type of overly-simplistic partisan-based thinking that gets us where we are today.

"Just elect Democrats"... Is not a solution. It's just wishful thinking based on false-faith that Democrats are perfect...


Face it... Democrats are not inherently endowed with any more integrity than people of ANY other party.

Voting based on PARTY... IS... the problem!!!

Just blindly switching the party doesn't FIX the problem!

Opening our eyes and looking at more than the letter by the name on the ballot is what is needed.

Kearns, UT

isred, and Harry Reid is ethical because he's a democrat?

I was a delegate that was totally opposed to Swallow because I knew he was oily from the get go. I voted against him all across the board. Convention, primary, and general election. And no, I didn't vote for the Democrat.

Let's give Reyes a chance. Change doesn't happen overnight.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Yah... until we get Jan Graham (or any other Democrat) in the AGs office... we're going to have this problem...

That's the solution...


equal protection
Cedar, UT

Leadership and integrity may mean doing the right thing no matter which way the political winds are blowing. From California to Virginia Attorney Generals refused to defend unconstitutional laws and waste tax payer money in order to insure re-election. An example of leadership; Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated his belief that same-sex couples should have the same right to marry as interracial couples, and gave his support to uphold a Federal court ruling that declared Virginia's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Meanwhile, AG Reyes intervenes to deny a court approved adoption of a child by two Lesbians. His actions may further delight and enjoyment in watching this couple suffer while scoring a few more points to win an upcoming election. In the AG's office, the means always justifies the end.

Liberty For All
Cedar, UT

Our Attorney General Reyes understands the common sense belief supported by the best social science, that every child deserves a mommy and a daddy.

He is just doing what the voters expect him to do in order to make that happen.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@equal protection,
IMO The State AG is obligate (by his oath of office) to defend the laws and Constitution of our State (whether he likes them or not).

Until the appeal is decided... same sex marriage is prohibited by our State Constitution. And he has to defend it... like any other law (regardless of his personal opinion on it).


I suspect if the courts rule that it must be removed from our Constitution and can't be law... he will stop defending it (regardless of his personal opinion on it). But he has to defend it until it's officially not the law.


I think that's the right tact for an AG to take. Not to pretend that HIS will overrules the laws passed by the legislature or the people.... but to enforce our laws.... ALL our laws.... not just the ones he likes.

Until the appeals are over... it's law... and it's the AGs job to defend our laws.

equal protection
Cedar, UT


You are incorrect. No where is it required that an Attorney General defend mob rule unconstitutional laws. See my examples.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Hire lawyers instead of having politicians raise money from targets of potential investigations.

St George, Utah

The report says Shurtleff's conduct "defies explanation." I believe the citizens of Utah won't have a problem in figuring out an explanation for the conduct. The election of the kind of people who engage in this sort of conduct is inevitable at any level of government where one party has been so dominant for such a long period of time.

St George, Utah

@ 2 bits.
Re your comment that the AG office should not be tarred with Swallow's brush. You lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

I agree with you that voting on a strict party line is a major part of the problem.

Cleveland , OH

I don't live in Utah and don't follow Utah politics and scandal. This article seems to shed light on the actions AG Retes is taking in regard to Same Sex Marriage and adoption by married gay couples. He is trying to convince the majority of Republican voters in the state that he and his office are Good and Ethical and Right Thinking.

All but the most egregious corruption, sweet-heart deals and politician-buying campaign contributions will be ignored by most voters if the candidate Stands For Godly Things(tm). This campaign against SSM - wrong on its face, and a losing proposition out the gate - does show he has the proper credentials to be reelected.

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