Candidates seeking to replace Swallow include pair with ties to his accusors

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  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    Let it go Hermounts. Political or not, these accusations have some real legs including the report from the Lt. Gov. who has clear evidence for the accusations they detail and very clear recommendations for the courts to follow. Swallow continues to say there is no way he can prove his innocence, which is oddly true, since he would be clearly guilty of several violations of real actual laws if he had let due process continue. Hence, he wouldn't be able to prove his innocence. That is some masterful doublespeak.

    I am grateful our political system was able to slowly excise this corruption from our system, despite it's tendency towards maintaining the same old power structures. Let's count this open office as an opportunity for our state.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    It was reassuring to read Homer1 @ hermounts posts. It is actually quite scary,
    To see the real estate/construction cabal throw their weight around. Tens of thousands
    If not more are experiencing underwater mortgages & the cabal still
    Push for favorable legislation @ leave these people to possible
    Bankruptcy. We need an attorney general to serve the workers not just
    The connected

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Dec. 3, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    I always suspected that the accusations against Swallow were purely politically motivated, starting with the fact that they first emerged during the election campaign. this confirms it.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    @Voice of Reason 1

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I understand there may be some desire for, and benefit from, continuity with the interim and next elected AG. However, in this circumstance where there are no doubt critical needs to put the AG's office back on track, I believe the better course for the Governor is to appoint someone who will agree to have as their sole focus that single task and not be distracted by the additional task of running for office.

    If Ward is appointed and does a good job, I would expect him to be satisfied with the gratitude of a grateful State for his public service. If that's not sufficient, he should wait and run in the election.

    I'm not of the opinion that there is only one person who could do an admirable job. I think the interim job should be filled with someone who will view it as an interim position with a single focus and as a public service to the State (for which they will be well compensated).

  • Eyes on Utah Houston, TX
    Dec. 3, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    As a native Utahn currently living outside of the state, the Deseret News is my go-to source for keeping up with what is happening in Utah. Upon reading this article, I was very disappointed that you would publish it under such a misleading headline. It implies that Brent Ward is somehow tied to Swallow. However, the only "tie" Ward, and I know him personally, has to this whole mess is that he has been doing all in his power to bring Jeremy Johnson to justice for his corrupt and dishonest schemes.

    One of Ward's most definitive characteristics is his unwavering integrity. Throughout his career he has tenaciously stood up for what is right, good, and lawful. He exhibits the exact qualities Utahns should be looking for in their next Attorney General.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 3, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    casual observer
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The AG is the governor's legal council, let him appoint whomever he wants.

    Message right on. The Governor could then be held responsible.

  • SLCPorter SLC, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    As much as we normal citizens of Utah would like the appointee to clean up the mess in the AGs office, the reality is that this Central Committee is made up entirely of a bunch of politicians. Worse, they are all Republican politicians. Anyone who paid attention to the redistricting fiasco will know that these guys don't care about the future of our state, all they care about is staying in power. They will undoubtedly select a person who they think will be able to hold the office in November, that is their only priority.

    And that is why this office should be appointed by the governor, who arguably has more of an interest in getting a competent lawyer into this position.

  • Voice of Reason 1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    @ let's roll

    You make a good point. I don't know, but I would bet that it was clear Swallow would be the Republican AG candidate at that time. Most Republicans with influence (and I don't think many would say that Ward has broad sweeping influence in the party), would get behind the Republican candidate.

    To the matter of this Deus Ex Machina narrative and the proposed interim Savior AG devoid of any other ambitions. What happens when the interim AG does a fantastic job (as I believe Ward would) and people really like the difference that is being made. Come election time, I would prefer the guy who's made a demonstrable difference to whatever phonies enter the primary and put us right back where we started. Long term, perhaps the best thing for the office is to make it an appointed position just like the US AG as I believe this office demands specific skills and experience perhaps more than many elected positions.

    I think it admirable that Ward has laid out very specific terms regarding his campaign approach including very strict donation limits and real transparency (as opposed to the Obama variety).

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    @ Voice of Reason 1

    I have an open mind about Mr. Ward and am willing to listen to why he believes he would make a good AG.

    I am concerned that he was willing to let Swallow "use my name" when he admits he didn't know Swallow and also by the fact he said he would do the same for any Republican candidate. That's certainly not a level of vetting I would use (and I'm a Republican)and would expect someone in a position of authority to be much more careful with how they allow their name to be used.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    It may be the nominating committee's function to try to get a Republican elected, but it's the Governor's right to appoint and I believe he should appoint someone who will commit to not running for the office.

    The people of Utah and the AG's office have had to go without a functioning AG for long enough. It would be in the best interest of both the State and the AG's office to have an AG focused only on providing leadership and direction to the office, not on getting elected.

  • Voice of Reason 1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    This article takes “guilt by association” to a new level. If you consider the title itself there is the implication that Ward is somehow “in league” with Swallow’s accusers, namely Jeremy Johnson and Co. Ward is actually the PROSECUTOR that is trying to bring JUSTICE for the thousands of people harmed by Jeremy Johnson’s schemes. Heaven help us if we are so indiscriminating that we cannot tell the difference between conspiring associations and adversarial associations. Ward has been seeking to PUT DOWN the corrupting influences—and you can make a good argument that it was his Johnson investigation that led to the discovery of potential wrongdoing in the AG office. The suggestion that he is somehow a crony steeped in party politics is an amusing. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I find it fascinating that some of those commenting seem to be experts on the character and qualities of Ward. I personally know him and have found him to be a person of great ability and impeccable integrity. The State would be a better place with him at the helm of the AG office.

  • Straightforward Orem, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    I'm not sure how anyone who has even a basic knowledge of how the legal system works would think that the Federal prosecutor going after Jeremy Johnson and iworks would somehow be in the Swallow camp. I think both Johnson and Swallow have wished for months that Brent Ward would go away. Seems to me that the guy who was key in exposing some of the problems in that office (Ward) would be a good pick to help clean it up.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    The AG is the governor's legal council, let him appoint whomever he wants. Electing this office is a case of form over necessity. Elections have not prevented electing those who have a questionable past.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    It is a little disconcerting that Mr. Swallow has said all along that he is innocent. That puts a cloud over these other men who are seeking the AG's office. They all say they are full of integrity and honesty and politically, there is not that kind of person without excess baggage lurking in the background. Mark Shurtleff, the political AG of days past has similar baggage that will take one or 2 cycles of elections to improve the image of that very political law enforcement officer. Every elected sheriff has now that cloud over them as the chief law enforcement person in the counties, thanks to Mr. Swallow and even former Lieutenant governors.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 3, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Wonder why I feel I am reading Ether again. The perks of influence peddling must be very attractive. Why is this an elective office?

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    To keep any semblance of calm, and to prevent this from turning even more into a gong show, Ward should not even be considered.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    But Homer, in Utah's Republican corral, it's gonna be impossible to find one who meets your standards.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    the Guv better start looking out of state for a new AG... these clowns putting themselves in the running are no better than the Shurtleff/Swallow gang... at least find someone who doesn't come from your local ward, Guv!

  • Homer1 MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 2, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    The best thing would be to appoint a good, decent candidate, with absolutely no connection to Swallow, the payday loan lobbyists, the typical Utah get-rich-schemers, and the real estate/construction cabal that afflicts Utah politics. Just for a change of pace. Let's see if the Utah establishment can contain themselves for one election cycle.