Dan Liljenquist: More reasons why Utah's AG should be removed

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    Unless criminal charges of some sort of filed, and I'm not too educated whether this criminal or not to tell you the truth, nothing will happen. This state is completely dominated by one party. He will not be impeached. The governor won't likely ask him to resign unless all of this effects him to a severe level. This is what you get in any govt. institution dominated by one political party. It's not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing. Other states dominated by the other party suffer the same issues. They become so insulated that it is problematic. Bottom line, the Republicans here in Utah can't be expected to do the right thing. Obviously, Swallow isn't going to be fall on his sword. Heck, he would probably be reelected in our state's current political climate. He, and his Republican supporters, will likely just wait this out until it more or less blows over. Now if the case does get criminal in some way, ignore my comments as all bets are off. But as long as it stays in the more ethical rather than legal/criminal realm, he'll stay where he is.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 31, 2013 1:13 p.m.


    How do you know what the Tribune was saying during the last election. I thought you never read it.

    I have no reason to believe the Trib misquoted recordings and transcripts. Neither do you.

  • Fire7Fly Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 31, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    This editorial was very enlightening and succinct. My jaw dropped as I read the narrative. The disappointment I have for the former AG is real and disheartening. If the narrative is accurate, the cronyism, corruption, and abuse of power needs to be addressed, prosecuted, and stopped. I hope those in a position to bring legal proceedings against these people will do so, so that the interests of the people of Utah are served. Thank you to the Deseret News and other reporting agencies for bringing this information to the public.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 31, 2013 9:11 a.m.


    Based on your apologetics, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that Swallow and Shurtleff will be spending considerable time with former court opponents, as well as former business associates, and friends. Maybe they'll be able to help move the prison from its current location to somewhere like right next to the nuclear waste facility in the west desert. Who knows - maybe they'll both be sporting tatoos in the near future?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 31, 2013 7:52 a.m.


    You are asserting that the Tribune is fair and honest in its reporting of John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff. Would you PROVE that? You also alluded to some kind of ticking clock on the courtroom wall, that once started, could keep the trial from finishing. Would you care to prove that?

    You say that you don't rely on the Tribune for religious issues. Has that kept the Tribune from using the pages of their newspaper to make unfounded and untrue allegations against the LDS Church for much of the Tribune's history? Is that just water under the bridge, or does that show that the Tribune is not above using its resources to create news, not just to report news? So what is it doing now? Is it reporting news or is it creating news?

    Why don't you revisit some of the stories printed by the Tribune during last year's campaign and see for yourself how "unbiased" and "fair" the Tribune "reported" that race? It's too bad that we couldn't see the color of the paper. I'm pretty much certain that it was "yellow".

  • LisaMShepherd Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 3:35 a.m.

    How disappointing that someone would question Dan L's motives in writing this opinion piece. I offer a statement of agreement and am standing with Dan in his assessment and opinion.

    Dan L, a former Republican Utah State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate and I both know very well and the public should know that this editorial could not have been written lightly or without possible political consequences.

    The questionable actions of our recent and current AG is at a minimum highly unethical and unbecoming of the office of Attorney General of the great State of Utah.

    The recorded conversations and actions are a mockery of the office of Attorney General and is an unfortunate betrayal of the trust of the people of Utah.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 30, 2013 8:18 p.m.


    Don't be silly. We're talking about current events, not religion. If I want to learn about religion, I read scripture or listen to conference or talk with those whose views I respect I don't rely on either the Tribune or the Deseret News for information about religious issues.

    With current events, I try to read all sides of an issue. You ask if the Tribune has an axe to grind. Perhaps. I don't know. But you ignored my question to you: has anyone disputed the accuracy of the Tribune's summary of the tapes? It doesn't matter to me so much what the newspapers opine. But what Mr. Swallow and Mr. Shurtleff say on tape, and what their representatives say to the media, is significant.

    Investigations of complex issues often take a long time. Law enforcement wants to make sure it has its case put together before the clock starts running on a trial date.

    When you compare the Salt Lake Tribune to the National Enquirer you signal that you are not a person to be taken seriously. Apparently, you'll say anything if it supports your viewpoint.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 30, 2013 5:39 p.m.


    Okay, I'll go bite. Let's talk about God. Let's discuss religion. Let's define "truth". Are you willing to let the Tribune define God, religion or truth for you? Do you have to read their definition before you look elsewhere for your answers?

    What makes you think that the Tribune doesn't have an axe to grind? Why, after all the reporting, are John Swallow and Mark Shurleff still free to roam the streets? The "reporting" has been going on for months. If even part of what that newspaper has "reported" is true, an honest "cop" would have arrested both of those men.

    I don't waste my time reading the "National Enquirer" either. Does that mean I'm ill-informed or does it mean that some of us make our reading choices based on past performance rather than on sensational headlines?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 30, 2013 4:14 p.m.


    If you don't read the Tribune, how do you know if it is credible or not? I have not heard anyone say the Tribune's summary of the tapes was biased or inaccurate, have you?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 30, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Has Dan Liljenquist personally heard the "tape" or even read a transcript of the "tape"? It seems like someone who was caught is telling everyone who will listen that he is innocent, but that nasty John Swallow and that nasty Mark Shurtleff should be hung at sundown.

    Now, why would anyone waste their time reading the Tribune? What has that paper done in the last 150 years to make it credible? My grandpa, who loved reading the Tribune, was fond of saying that, according to the Tribune, every Mormon belonged in jail and every Republican was a felon. He would then add, with a twinkle in his eye, that as far as he could tell, Johnnie Walker was still on the payroll at the Tribune. Maybe my memory has faded, but I'm pretty sure those where his exact words.

    Reporters have a duty to report facts. If those facts are true, the police chief should arrest John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff and let the court sort things out. As long as they are walking the streets as free citizens, I'm going to have to agree with grandpa and with his assessment of the other newspaper.

  • John McClane SLC, UT
    May 30, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    I've said it before: the people of Utah got exactly what they deserved by overlooking an award-winning prosecutor last fall and instead reflexively voting for the sleazy guy with the "R" next to his name.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    I am in agreement that the DesNews does soft-pedal some stories and has really failed to investigate anything of note. They are trying to sell papers on feel-good stories. The AG's office appears to be a mess.

    I am still wondering why Warren Jeffs is in a Texas prison and not at Point of the Mountain. Mr. Shurtleff was in office 12 years and didn't do much but crash a motorcycle.

    The silence of the pious Republican leadership and elected officials is deafening.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    May 30, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    aceroinox asks good questions.

    Shurtleff served **three terms** as Utah's AG. At whose benefit did he serve, and what money was coming to him under the many tables he sat at, during those twelve years?

    I am thankful the Feds are looking at this. Utah's political system is a hotbed of immorality and unethical behavior, while claiming to be the opposite.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    May 30, 2013 11:11 a.m.


    That definitely falls in the category of a snarky comment. I'm guessing that you have some kind of beef with Dan Liljenquist, perhaps one of Senator Hatch's campaign operatives...irritated because the august senator was forced into a primary for the first time in 36 years?

    The real question in not why is Dan Liljenquist bearing down on John Swallow, but why more prominent Republicans are not! Also worth contemplation: how did Mark Shurtleff escape scrutiny for so long? He clearly ran roughshod over ethics and the law during his tenure--why was he allowed free rein in his far-ranging and non-trivial skullduggery? Every time I questioned his integrity while in office, I was told by numerous GOP folk that he was a reliable friend to conservatism. I'm afraid I always found him suspect, and more than a little full of himself.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    May 30, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Of course, Dan is 100% correct about all this. But I have to ask myself why a fellow Republican would go after one of his own with such zeal and righteousness? Could it be that Dan is setting himself up as Swallow's "logical replacement"?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 30, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    The question isn't whether swallow should step down. It's whether or not he should go to jail.

  • Cameron Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 30, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    What Swallow has done is not in dispute. How criminal they may or may not have been is under investigation, but the fact that our Attorney General tried to extort $2 million from someone they had prosecuted is beyond the pale. There is no legitimate reason this guy should be in office of any kind, let alone as the state's chief law officer.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Thank you for publishing this opinion piece.

    As a reader of both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune I am a little disappointed of the lack of covereage of the continuing revelations about Mr Shurtleft and Mr Swallow.

    My personal opinion is the Deseret News and KSL seem to be soft peddling the information. A simple internet search of both web sites should reveal the answer.

    Maybe I am wrong perhaps the Tribune is sensationalizing the story.

    I would like the most complete information to make my own personal decision.

    Perhaps I am wrong but I feel I do not get the same amount of info on this subject because of political reasons If the two stories were about Democrats would the Deseret News coverage be the same? My feeling politics should have nothing to do with it.

    By the way I voted for Dan for Senate

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    May 30, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Agree with Dan L. I wish he were in DC as our Senator.

  • hnoel Layton, UT
    May 30, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    Excellent analysis. I fear we are losing perspective here, by failing to acknowledge the difference between criminal activity and ethical violations. Those who would have us wait for the results of various criminal investigations before calling upon Mr. Swallow to resign, are ignoring the overwhelming number of ethical violations he has committed, while holding high public office. Mr. Swallow may or may not have committed crimes -- the investigations will determine that. Meantime, the ethical lapses of which we have incontrovertible evidence, and which Mr. swallow himself has acknowledged, provide more than enough reason for him to step down. If he hasn't the honor to do it himself, the legislature should make the move.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    May 30, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    Well stated Mr. Liljenquist. But, the rot goes deeper than Mr Swallow. It is time to sweep the whole system clean.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 30, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    When even Dan Liljenquist is able to recognize the improprieties in the actions of Swallow and Shurtleff, we know it must have been very serious.