Dan Liljenquist: It's time for Swallow to resign or be impeached

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  • perspicacious Salt lake city, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Good article Dan. The evidence from donut shop transcript and death-bed statement of Rawle (and implications of it) are overwhelming: Swallow lacks judgment, ethics and scruples. We all as voters could have predicted this from his actions in his two previous attempts to get elected to Congress. The time is here to rid our system of a bad apple. Give him a full hearing (if he wants all the mud to come out) and make findings of the bad things he did (as a guide to future and present politicians) and let both parties (but especially Republicans) see the result of money, lobbying and bad judgment!

  • heated_up Salt Lake , UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    I don't understand what it means to "seek his removal". That must be what we are calling all of the current attacks on Swallow. If the feds were to determine Swallow did something wrong, it would not be necessary to seek his removal, he would be removed. The whole idea of removing someone from their position before finding the truth or asking him to remove himself before the truth is revealed is not right and doesn't make any sense. It is complete disregard for due process.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "The Real Maverick" again, what law has been broken. We cannot impeach him unless a law was broken. As for resigning, that is HIS decision, not the public's.

    Can you or one of the other people who are out to get him removed from office tell us what law he has broken?

    7:53 a.m. Feb. 22, 2013


    So what I hear you saying is that you will be the very 1st in line to seek his removal from office once the investigation is complete, and if he is found guilty of breaking the law - but not a minute before then.

    OK, cut and paste. We'll holding you to it then.

  • Kermit Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    Dan makes good points (rare), and Swallow showed bad judgement- or very bad judgement- in these cases. I knew that I didn't want Swallow as our attorney general, that's why I voted for Shawn Reyes originally in the primary election, and as a Republican voted for Dee Smith in the final election, and was very vocal about it. Reyes was clearly the best candidate of the two Republicans. The office ought to be passed to Sean or Dee. There's probably a provision in the law as to how the AG is replaced.

    I sure WISH that Republicans would vote for the BEST candidates, not just the members of their party. In every election cycle there are always, in my opinion, some VERY conservative people that are running on the Democratic ticket that lose because a majority of Republicans vote for the straight party ticket, or never do their homework.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    So all of a sudden we're concerned about the reputation of the office? What happened with all the years Swallow's predecessor was in office?

  • toquer-villan TOQUERVILLE, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    I would suggest that with a federal investigation underway, that the Justice system should be allowed to do its job. If the investigation uncovers deception or collusion, payoffs or favor trading, then Swallow should either leave voluntarily or an impeachment process could be launched. What should not happen is for Swallow be crucified in the press and on TV. That is not justice and the State of Utah should not be playing such games. As I recall, Liljenquist, is a "former" State Senator and the looser of a tough primary. I do not understand why he is now the volunteer spokesman for the process of Utah ethics.

  • Nacho Libre Holladay, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    Swallow is a perfect example of a politician willing to say anything, do anything, hide anything and justify anything to be elected. I'm a Republican, but I'm also someone who takes voting very seriously and will not hesitate to vote outside my party if there is a better candidate. In every election in which John Swallow has been a part of, he has invariably been the lesser candidate and I have voted against him. Sadly, he somehow managed to get elected this time, due in no small part to the smear campaign against his Republican challenger. Whether Swallow was directly involved in that or not, the people behind it were obviously his supporters, probably closely tied to him, but either way they were of equally low character. Now, it's time for John to put his enormous ego behind him and resign and let our State move forward without a cloud of corruption hanging over it.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    To John Mclane: you hit it right on the head brother! I couldn't agree more.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" again, what law has been broken. We cannot impeach him unless a law was broken. As for resigning, that is HIS decision, not the public's.

    Can you or one of the other people who are out to get him removed from office tell us what law he has broken?

    Is this a case where there was some mistakes on his part, and now a political opponent is using the situation to take him down?

  • Cordwainer Bird Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    Interesting that even this op-ed in the News itself references the solid reporting of its competitor by name. The Salt Lake Tribune has owned this story. The Deseret News has consistently followed or not even reported pertinent details that the Trib has on this subject. It is another example of how the News should seriously re-examine its mission and purpose. To the community's detriment, it is a shadow of the newspaper it once was.

  • MemoFromA Demo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    I admit that I don't know a lot about the Swallow case, but why are we singling him out when the same type of activity is taking place every day, year long, with our city, county, and state elected officials?  

    When it comes to taking money from people looking for political favor, and when it comes to obvious conflicts of interest, why are we giving a pass to governors, state legislators, mayors, and city councilpersons?  Politicians are soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and special interest groups who then turn around a few weeks later and petition them for political favor.  

    I don't believe that every elected official has been corrupted, but we do have a system that is corruptible.  I've been working with people in high places for many years.  I've heard their stories about the political extortion techniques subtly used by politicians to rake in big campaign money.  Its a "you better scratch my back or I'm not scratching yours" system.  Swallow's situation is ugly, -- the same kind of ugly our other elected officials engage in regularly.  

  • Leave it to Lisa New Harmony, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    I believe Mr. Swallow needs to resign. He deceived the people of Utah. He has shown a lack of judgement and integrity - two traits I believe are paramount as the Attorney General of Utah. I didn't vote for him. It just seemed to me he wanted to be elected to an office - any office - and would do anything to get his desired end result. He needs to step down. There are important issues in our state and our AG needs to focus their full attention on them.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    I cannot say I have agreed with the former State Senator very often, but this is a logical and realistic article. The whole Republican convention in April 2012 had some very peculiar actions at that meeting. During the campaign for the seat occupied now by Chris Stewart had some disturbing occurrences that appeared to me to never be answered even though the GOP chairman said it was dealt with. Also, a lot of the attorneys in the AG's office were directly campaigning against their chief deputy when Mark Shurtleff paid all kinds of support for Swallow. Sean Reyes didn't have the name recognition and may have been impacted on his background which appears to have been a broader career than John Swallow. John Swallow has been a politician and lobbyist. Mark Shurtleff should have known in April about Johnson's relationship with Swallow, as he was his boss and should have known. The ethics of Swallow appear to be less than what an active Attorney General should have. This will lead to his demise as there will always be something just around the corner. There are many actions the elected AG needs to do and not run from everything.

  • hnoel Layton, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    Mr. Liljenquist hit it on the target. The FBI investigation is one thing, and Mr. Swallow deserves the presumption of innocence in that respect. However, that is a criminal investigation. The actions to which Mr. Swallow has admitted, and we know to be true, are sufficient for a call for his resignation. I join the ever-growing chorus in that call. It is past time for him to step down.

  • ProvoLow Provo, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:43 p.m.

    The question is: if the extent of Swallow's past unethical actions (not to mention the active FBI investigations into them) had been as widely known during the campaign as they are now, does anybody think he would still have prevailed? Of course not. He could not have earned the public's trust if his attempts to hide the truth and cover his tracks had been made public. Yet now he and his supporters ask us to "presume him innocent" and keep trusting him, even when he has admitted to acts that are clearly unethical (even if not illegal)? Absurd.

    "Presumption of innocence" under the law is not the same thing as "trust." I do not assume he is guilty of a criminal offense, and the outcome of the criminal investigations will not affect whether I trust him. The fact is, he has already broken the public's trust, so he should resign.

  • kattawn ,
    Feb. 21, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    Is it possible to have another election if it's warranted? Let's have 3 candidates and Mr. Swallow go into a primary. There must be something in the Utah Code that would allow for this type of election. I'd just like to see the truth be revealed and hope it will be soon or Mr. Swallow will be totally ineffective.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Liljenquit finally has said something that makes sense. Good for him.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    There have only been a few things that I have agreed with Dan Liljenquist with, but I need to add this one to the short list. Swallow needs to do the honorable thing and resign, but if he were an honorable man he would not have been swirling in the cesspool with people like Jeremy Johnson.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    This isn't an isolated event. How many more Utah politicians need to violate ethics laws? How many more are engaged in shady dealings but who aren't breaking laws? Didnt The Lord tell us to avoid even the appearance of evil?

    How many more need to be caught hot tubbing with 15 year olds and receive standing ovations? How many more need to be caught sending $13 million to contractors? How many more times do vouchers need to be rejected? How many more times will the reichstag skip ethics reform and ignore voters? How many more times must we see our rights trampled and made more difficult to overturn laws? How many more times must we hear about relocating our prison on our own dime while handing out money and land to developers? Corporate welfare? How many more times must we cater to high polluters while ignoring those with health concerns? Why can't we have the same health care as our ah-hem public servants?

    How many more times must we see repubs like swallow act like they own the place and our job is to merely shut up and keep them in power?

    We need change

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" what are you talking about?!! What give you the idea that I wouldn't apply the same standards to a liberal? Do we have proof that a law has been broken?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    My fellow Utahns,

    Why is it illegal for a teacher to accept a gift which exceeds more than a $25 dollar value because it might "influence" that educator while it is perfectly "ok" for the AG to accept a gift of $20,000? 20k doesn't influence? HUH???

    The term, "public servant" was lost in Heir Swallow's mind.

    I'm sorry folks, but I don't care whether it's illegal or not to accept these types of gifts and then hide them. It's all about avoiding EVEN the APPEARANCE of evil. Our repub legislature needs to wake up and smell the hot chocolate. Trust and transparency are the issues here.

    Who does Heir Swallow think he is anyway? It's almost as if he's obsessed with his title and addicted to its power and authority. As Utahns, are we comfortable with this? Are we comfortable with the arrogance and corruption displayed once more by the GOP in our state? Enough student vouchers, prison relocation, and bribes to contractors. Enough dirty deals!

    My fellow Utahns, this issue isn't about Dan Lindquist. It's time for Heir Swallow to retire from "public service"and these "gifts."

  • JimBob Highland, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    This attorney general election was the first time I voted for the democrat. My personal dealing with Sallow, while admittedly not great in number, persuaded me he was not the man for the job.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    @ Redshirt.... does "Why is it that he is presumed guilty until proven innocent?" only apply to republicans?

    I am always amazed at the conditionality of condemnation of behavior on party lines. Both ways. Not saying Redshirt is doing anything the other side doesn't do. But it would be ever so nice if the same standards applied regardless.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" then are you calling Washington DC corrupted? They are dominated right now by Progressives, and using your logic and arguments they must be corrupted.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Irony of the Year: John Swallow, whose career consists of lawyering up for the multilevel marketing and payday loan "industries," and then offers them preferential treatment for a handful of campaign cash--- is Swallow really the best Utah has to offer for AG? The seamiest lawyer in town? Where do the Republicans get these candidates? Dee Smith, the courageous and capable Weber Co Attorney, was the obvious choice to anyone with any familiarity at all with these two candidates. Once again, Utah's Republican Brain shuts down.

  • heated_up Salt Lake , UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    The funny thing is the belief that the resignation of Swallow would somehow bring about an AG in office the public can trust. That certainly wouldn't be our buddy Liljenquist and I find it ridiculous that he even has the nerve to speak on this subject given his track record. Of course he wants Swallow to resign, I hope he is wrong in thinking he has a shot at the position. If it seems there are problems in the AG office now, Liljenquist makes John swallow look like a saint.

  • Lermentov PROVO, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Sean Reyes should take his place.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    While I agree with the general thrust of this piece, does anyone else find it ironic that its author was alleged to have pulled some extremely questionable things in the past -- and during his recent bid for Congress?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    Who needs to site Chicago style politics when we have an AG under investigation for ethics violations, a Jr. Senator insisting on Fiscal responsibility while taking advantage of a ShortSale foreclosure rules, and the oldest, most entrenched Washington insider U.S. Senator ever?

    One Party political systems are the most fertile soil for corruptioned Governments.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    These comments are interesting, but so far nothing concrete has surfaced. If he intentionally witheld information regarding the use of the houseboat, is that sufficient for impeachment or resigning?

    Why is it that he is presumed guilty until proven innocent?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    I voted for Swallow but how about we just give the office to the Dem contender?

  • oldrunner Ogden, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    "Our system of government depends upon the fair and impartial application of the law."

    That is really funny! Just the oposite is true. Our, one Party rules, system runs on partiality. We don't have a true debate on anything in this State. We don't have benevolent leaders, at least we haven't for a long time. We have a governemnt controlled by some powerful special interest groups. That much is plain and simple!

  • john mclane Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    Utahns had a chance to elect an excellent Attorney General, one who was named Utah’s 2011 County Attorney of the Year and the 2010 Utah Gang Investigator Association's Prosecutor of the Year while working as lead prosecutor for Weber County. His name was Dee Smith. Unfortunately, Dee Smith was not one of the "Good Ole Boys" from the Republican Party. Utahns got what they deserve for reflexively voting for anyone with the magic "R" next to their names on the ballot.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    Exercising bad judgment is what happens when you don't have a body of values and ethics that you obey. Living a set of values and ethics keeps you from doing things that seemed like good ideas at the time but in retrospect were really dumb.

  • Ross64 South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    So is Dan itching to take the position? He jumped on the hate bandwagon with hopes of having someone in Utah remember him? I admit that it is easy to remember that Dan was absent from his duties most of the time he was in office. He collected money for a job he was not doing. I am sure that Disney cruise was nice, but it seems like the pot is calling the kettle black.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    For the first time in my life, and likely the last, I agree with Dan Liljenquist. He makes a very strong argument for Swallow's resignation. I hope Mr. Swallow and our legislators read his article.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 21, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    I agree with Dan. I know school teachers and police officers who were immediately fired for lesser offenses than what John Swallow has already acknowledged. I understand that John is an elected official and personally believe he should be allowed to present his case in an impeachment hearing rather than simply being pressured to resign. So far the only attempt at accountability John Swallow has made was to request a federal investigation of the charges - but only when he knew full well such an investigation was already going on. As a College Professor I have been told repeatedly that I have a position of trust and will be held to a higher standard than others in society. I accepted that when I accepted the job. Its time for John Swallow to accept it as well.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Mr. Liljenquist makes some very good points. I think Mr. Swallow should resign, but not because he has done something wrong. The jury is still out on that. He should resign because this cloud of suspicion - caused largely by Mr. Swallow's actions, which are well-documented - makes it difficult for him to do his job as the state's highest law enforcement officer.

    The down-side on any call for resignation is that it might serve as an invitation to opponents of every office holder to make unfounded attacks. There is a fine line to draw when it comes to a call for a politician's resignation, but I do believe the undisputed facts about Mr. Swallow have crossed that line.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    I completely agree, Swallow should resign and stop embarrassing the people of Utah and his family with his lies. He should never have been elected but now that he is the mistake needs to be corrected.
    I also believe Shurtleff needs to be investigated, it seems obvious he is also involved in the Swallow mess and needs to be held accountable for hushing it up.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 10:02 a.m.


  • Max G. Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    The article doesn't make it clear but impeachment is simply the opening of legal proceedings. It doesn't mean that the accused has been found guilty. The person is first impeached, then a trial is held, and then, if found guilty, removed from office.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    I have to admit I didn't vote for Mr. Swallow. Now I believe that may have been a good decision on my part.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    Wow! I'm shocked to say this, but I fully agree with Dan Liljenquist!

  • IvoteinUtah Millcreek, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    I agree, the attorney general for the state of Utah should have a better reputation than Swallow has. It is time for him to just step aside and hopefully we will end up with someone I and other Utahns feel like we can trust. Stepping down would be the honorable thing to do, and now would be a good time for Swallow to show some honor. Best of luck John.

  • mcjolley Pleasant grove, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    Well said. As soon as the legislative session is over, the legislature needs to move forward with impeachment.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    It is time for Swallow to go. The success of our country.has been due in large part to the relative lack of corruption. The American people are already having to deal with a Federal government that is increasingly corrupt. Let's not let our Utah's government start resembling that of Chicago or New York. We need a zero tolerance policy for corruption - Republican or Democrat.

  • JerseyGirl Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    Amen and amen.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 6:28 a.m.

    It is difficult to admit that the political candidate you supported has behaved so badly that they deserve immediate removal from office. Swallow supporters are tolerating a level of unethical conduct that they would use to absolutely crucify a political figure they opposed.

    Swallow needs to resign. The ongoing investigation will reveal whether he needs legal punishment as well.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    Impeachment would be good, as it carries with it a finding of facts. We as the public are normal to be "rushing to judgment," and doing so is not wrong of us. What is wrong is that no body -- whether it be a formal court or the Legislature carrying out an impeachment -- has yet rendered a finding of the facts. It would be good if our system was such that some legal or government body did make a quick decision on the facts, in step with the public's rush to judgment. Injustice is not in being tried and condemned. Injustice is being condemned without being tried. The public has condemned Swallow, yet not one justice-rendering body has yet acted. The Sixth Amendment calls for the accused to enjoy a speedy and public trial. Why should not such a principle be guiding us in the Swallow case? I do not say, Let the courts (including a legislative impeachment body) take their course. I say, Let them take their course in the quick and public fashion the Sixth requires of them.