SALT LAKE CITY - The Elections Office announced Friday that a special counsel will investigate two of 12 counts in a complaint against Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
The investigation comes in response to a complaint filed in March by the progressive group Alliance for a Better Utah.
"An investigator has the ability to dig in to a lot of things that we can't have access to," said Maryann Martindale, executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah. "It's not that we take great delight in pointing out unethical behavior or potentially illegal behavior or an elected official, that's bad news, it's bad news for the entire state."
After reviewing those allegations, the Elections Office determined that some of them needed further review.
"After a meticulous review, it became apparent there were some legal questions regarding estate planning and trusts which fall outside the realm of election law," said Mark Thomas, Chief Deputy for the Lieutenant Governor's Office, in a news release.
The complaints that will see further review involve Swallow's involvement with two LLCs: P-Solutions and SSV Management. P-Solutions received more than $22,000 in income from Richard Rawle.
"Those companies, as we find out from John Swallow, are related to a family trust. He felt like even though he earned the money it did not need to be reported as income to himself because it was income to these companies," Thomas told FOX 13.
The counsel will evaluate Swallow's assertion that he didn't need to report earnings if he directed them into a family trust instead of into personal accounts. The counsel may investigate beyond those allegations.
"I certainly wouldn't want to limit them. If the evidence leads them to one direction or another, I don't know what the law is specific to that but I don't think our office would be telling them specifically at just these issues. If the evidence leads somewhere else then that's where this leads," Thomas said.
In addition to this complaint, Swallow is facing allegations of soliciting bribes in the federal fraud case of businessman Jeremy Johnson, allegations of taking favors from a man now serving a 10-year sentence for fraud and allegations of displaying unethical behavior from the former director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.
Swallow, Shurtleff facing allegations of taking favors from man convicted of fraud
Swallow facing new allegations of unethical behavior
Gov. Herbert frustrated with speed of Swallow investigation