Special committee to investigate John Swallow

Posted at 12:15 PM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 19:30:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah House voted to create a special committee to investigate allegations of misconduct against Attorney General John Swallow.

Before the debate reached the house floor, there was a spirited discussion among the members of the House Rules Committee that met beforehand. Their job was to approve the resolution calling for the special investigative committee, so the House could debate it.

There was some hesitation about moving forward on this resolution among a handful of members, mainly from Rep. Ken Ivory. The West Jordan Republican said we're setting a precedent and we need to take our time to make sure it's done right.

"We should act. We should act expeditiously, but we should act judiciously. This is a matter of constitutional moment in our history. That deserves due consideration honoring our process. I don't think getting a resolution over the weekend, having no opportunity to get response and consideration from our leg. council, no opportunity from input from other legal experts, no opportunity for public input on the burdens and the standards and the scope of how we move forward. I think that's misguided," said Ivory.

All but three members of the state House voted in favor of the resolution.

"This is an investigation that is proper and timely and addresses the public trust issue," said Former Utah GOP state Rep. Holly Richardson.

The investigation will ask about John Swallow working on behalf of indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson and vacationing with convicted businessman Marc Jenson.

John Swallow is out of town, but he called into a radio program to say the legislature is giving the committee too much power.

"I've got to say I'm concerned with the legislature wanting to go a little too far in my investigation," Swallow said. "Conceivably under the resolution that came forward they could look back into my career 23 years."

The committee members still need to be appointed and that's up to the speaker. There will be nine members.