SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis called on Gov. Gary Herbert Thursday to appoint a special prosecutor for the mounting allegations against embattled state Attorney General John Swallow.
"There are federal laws and issues and there are state laws and issues," Dabakis said. "As more and more serious allegations are brought to light against the Attorney General and, increasingly, whispers of investigations against Utah's constitutional officeholders grow louder, it is imperative that our one-party state begin an independent investigation into these alleged violations of state law by our highest state officials."
Swallow is currently facing a federal investigation into his dealings with indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, as well as allegations that he violated campaign fundraising laws during his recent bid for attorney general.
In April, Herbert called on federal authorities to either charge or exonerate Swallow, expressing frustration that the investigation had persisted without official action on the allegations that surfaced late last year.
The call for action by Dabakis came after allegations leveled by businessman Marc Sessions Jenson, convicted of fraud and facing more allegations of financial wrongdoing. Sessions allegations followed a Salt Lake Tribune prison interview with the man.
In his statement Thursday, Dabakis echoed those frustrations but called on state leaders to initiate their own probe into the claims against Swallow.
"The growing list of possible allegations of violations of state law must be looked at by a state investigator, on behalf of the residents of the state," Dabakis said. "Governor Herbert, appoint a completely independent, special prosecutor with full staff and budget, and do it now. The people of Utah deserve nothing less, given the mess we currently face and the allegations tarnishing the reputations of Utah’s highest officeholders."