Civil complaint filed against AG John Swallow

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 00:26:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Two Utah citizens have filed a complaint against Utah Attorney General John Swallow asking for him to be removed from office after they say he intentionally left financial data off his election filings.

The petition lists 12 alleged violations of election law, all related to disclosing finances and business interests for voters to evaluate, thought at least two of the allegations seem to reference another man named John Swallow.

"A very quick internet search reveals that on counts one and three Mr Irvine has identified the wrong John Swallow," Swallow's campaign consultant, Jason Powers, wrote to Fox 13 in an email, "Such carelessness is pervasive throughout this inaccurate and meritless complaint."

Fox 13, in research for a February 20 report, also noticed that another John Swallow has corporate filings in Utah.

That still leaves several complaints for the Lt. Governor to evaluate.

"As a citizen of Utah we deserve to know if our elected officials are acting with integrity," said Crystal Young-Otterstrom.

Young-Otterstrom and Maryann Martindale filed the petition. Both are with the Alliance for a Better Utah, a left-leaning political think tank.

Governor Herbert suspects the complaint is about politics.

"I hope it's not just politically motivated. My concern there is just politics behind the complaining," Herbert said.

But David Irvine, the filing attorney, says the case is clear.

"The documents really speak for themselves," Irvine said.

The petition says that on March 9, Swallow filed election papers outlining his financial ties. But on March 15, he filed new papers, and the two were quite different. For example, on March 9, he owned Swallow and Associates, but on March 15, he was just listed as a board member or adviser.

According to the petition, Swallow also failed to list a number of companies and non-profit organizations he had ties to, some he transferred to his wife's name, on March 15.

"The inconsistencies internally as to some of those documents and with each other looking at the two are just glaring," Irvine said.

The lieutenant governor will now read and consider the petition to decide if a special investigation is necessary.