Utah AG John Swallow announces his resignation

Posted at 11:41 AM, Nov 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-21 17:14:41-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Attorney General John Swallow announced his resignation Thursday afternoon in a press conference.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Swallow announced his resignation, which he said is effective Dec. 3.

During the press conference Swallow maintained his innocence.

"I have broken no laws and have vowed to fight for my honor and good name with my very last dollar," he said.

Still, Swallow said the time had come for him to step down.

"Now is the time for the madness to stop and the state to move forward," he said during the conference.

Swallow said the allegations against him were politically motivated. He said the House investigation was "calculated to drive me from office."

He said he has been honored to serve, and he said if he is innocent, then today is a sad day for Utah, as an election has been overturned. Swallow said he will continue to work toward clearing his name.

"I look forward to clearing my name as a private citizen," He said.

A pair of statements were released by the Governor's Office in response to the resignation.

Gov. Gary Herbert stated in the release:  "I received a letter of resignation from Utah Attorney General John Swallow this morning.  John’s decision is in the best interests of his family, his constituents and the State of Utah. I call on the Republican State Central Committee to convene as soon as is practical and send me three names to consider for appointment to the vacancy created by this resignation. Until I make that appointment, I have asked Major General Brian Tarbet to ensure the duties of the Office of the Attorney General are performed.”

 Director of Elections Mark Thomas stated in the released:  “In light of the announcement by Attorney General John Swallow, the Elections Office will review its effect on the ongoing special investigation and will release the final report once it is complete.”

Rod Snow, Swallow's attorney, told Fox 13's Max Roth he had talked personally with Swallow about the resignation.

Snow said Swallow is not admitting any guilt, and he doesn't expect the various investigations to prove he did anything illegal.

"I think it's a combination of reasons," he said. "I don't think it has anything to do with current events."

He added, "It's the stress that's been put on his office responding to subpoenas and the time it's taking the office to respond."

"I think he wants to put his family ahead of politics and of course it's been a financial burden on him because the house allocated three million dollars for their investigation, but they allocated none for the defense," Snow said.

This is a developing story. Watch FOX 13 News and for more details.