House Investigative Committee will continue its work despite Swallow resignation

Posted at 10:03 PM, Nov 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-22 00:07:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Now that John Swallow has stepped down, what happens next?

Representative Jim Dunnigan, R-District 39, said the plan is still to forge ahead with the House investigation, but their fact finding mission into the allegations against Swallow is still up in the air.

Meantime, Sim Gill, the Salt Lake County District Attorney, said his criminal investigation continues.

"We're in the middle of our investigation, so we have no intentions of stopping and bringing this to a conclusion until it is finished," said Gill, who said he has the assistance of the FBI. "The things that we're looking at would be all of the above, misdemeanor charges, it could be felony charges."

On Utah's Capitol Hill there are questions about what happens next.

"I think it's a relief for the citizens and the State of Utah,” Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-District 9, said.

Niederhauser said it's time for everyone to put this in the past.

"There's been a resignation and now it's time we now shut down the investigation, time to find some closure and move on as a state,” he said.

However, the House isn't ready to let go just yet.

"The object of the committee was to find the facts surrounding the allegations and to find the statutory changes that might be necessary, that was why we did the special investigative committee," said House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-District 64, during a press conference Thursday afternoon, an hour after Swallow announced his resignation.

With $1.5 million already spent on the House probe alone, the committee may have to rethink the scope of the investigation.

"We will get with our counsel and reevaluate the investigation," Dunnigan said.

The investigation has been taxing not only on taxpayers, but lawmakers like Dunnigan, who showed emotion after being asked about the resignation.

"I take no pleasure in the results that come from today,” he said. “My responsibilities are to the State House, and it's a body I greatly admire and to the public of Utah."

Officials with the District Attorney's office said it will be months before they finish its investigation.