Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Brian Tarbet, the former head of the Utah National Guard who served as acting attorney general amid the office's pay-for-play scandal, will retire at the end of the summer.

SALT LAKE CITY — The former head of the Utah National Guard who served as acting attorney general amid the office's pay-for-play scandal will retire at the end of the summer.

Gov. Gary Herbert asked retired Gen. Brian Tarbet to run the attorney general's office after John Swallow resigned under fire in December 2013. He was among three finalists for the job until the governor picked Sean Reyes to replace Swallow.

Reyes, who won election in 2014, kept Tarbet on as his chief civil deputy. He said the respect Tarbet earned from leaders around the state is only surpassed by the respect and admiration he has in the attorney general's office.

"Gen. Tarbet led this office through extremely difficult times and circumstances," Reyes said. "In many ways, he is irreplaceable."

Tarbet, who has a law degree from the University of Utah, worked as general counsel in the attorney general's office under Swallow. A major general, he led the Utah National Guard for 12 years until retiring in 2012.

Solicitor General Bridget Romano will replace Tarbet as chief civil deputy.

"Not only is she one of Utah’s most skilled attorneys, she has also proven to be an effective leader in her role as solicitor general. She has tremendous support and respect within the office from management, line attorneys, paralegals, staff and investigators," Reyes said.

In her new role, Romano will oversee several state agencies including education, environment and health, highways and utilities, natural resources, and tax financial services.

Romano has worked in the attorney general’s office since 1996, leaving for two short periods to go into private practice. She earned an undergraduate degree in political science and economics and a law degree from University of Utah.

Reyes has not yet named a new solicitor general.

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