Governor talks Swallow at monthly conference

Posted at 12:22 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-21 00:54:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY-- Utah Governor Gary Herbert faced many questions about Attorney General John Swallow during his June press conference Thursday.

Herbert said he supports the decision made by Republicans in the State House to form a committee to investigate Swallow. That decision was made Wednesday during a state Republican caucus meeting regarding the possible impeachment of Swallow.

"I think they're going through it in a methodical, deliberate, wise way to make sure they're not overreacting," Herbert said.

Earlier this month, Herbert had harsh words for Swallow, and he backed them up on Thursday.

"I didn't want to comment on the criminality. That's under investigation. But clearly the information we have received by tape and by receipts, you know, would indicate a violation of our ethics. I would have called in an employee of mine and said this is really serious and probably requested a resignation at that time, but that's a different category than the attorney general who's an elected official," Herbert said.

Because the House isn't formally starting an impeachment process, there could be a need for the governor to call a special session to start the investigation. Herbert said if that's the case, he will do it.

At the same time, Herbert said he has sympathy for Swallow.

"I don't know all the facts that he knows," Herbert said. "Clearly there's a toll that's being taken upon himself, I would think, and his family, and that's got to be a consideration what's in the best interest of his family and the challenged that's faced."

Herbert later said that at the end of the day he just wants what's best for the Attorney General's Office and the taxpayers.

Swallow responded to Herbert's remarks, saying that he should wait for a fair and thorough investigation rather than believing what is written in the paper.

Swallow also addressed allegations he took favors from a man convicted of fraud and went to an upscale resort in southern California. That man, Marc Jenson, says he has receipts showing Swallow signed for food and other luxuries while staying at the resort.

Swallow says that some of those receipts appear to be forgeries.