MANILA, Daggett County — The prosecutor in the Daggett County voter-fraud scandal is quitting the case.

County Attorney Bryan Sidwell removed himself before 20 of 51 defendants could be arraigned.

Sidwell refused to say why, leaving the Utah Attorney General's Office to step in or appoint a special prosecutor.

The voters are accused of illegally registering in Daggett County even though they don't live or maintain a primary residence there. The charge is a class A misdemeanor.

The case involves the 2006 election, when then-Sheriff Alan Campbell complained that the voter rolls were growing in the small county near the Wyoming border. Campbell, a Democrat, lost the election to Republican Rick Ellsworth by 20 votes.

Sidwell is an appointed rather than elected county attorney, and last week the chairman of the Daggett County Commission said his employment was under review.

The prosecutor quit a day after Corby J. Raddon filed papers in Manila's 8th District Court accusing Sidwell of withholding evidence that exonerates him and trying to silence defense witnesses. Raddon is asking a judge to dismiss the charge against him.

Sidwell said he won't comment until the cases are resolved.