Special investigation into John Swallow finds alleged violations of Utah Election Code

Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-22 15:05:45-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The day after Utah Attorney General John Swallow announced he would resign, the Lt. Governor's Office issued a report claiming he violated state election laws.

A 136-page report issued Friday alleged that Swallow violated financial disclosure and conflict of interest provisions of Utah Election Code by not revealing income and hiding business interests. The report recommends civil penalties, which could include removal from office.

Scroll to the bottom of this story for links to download related documents.

The report, prepared by special counsel hired to investigate an election complaint against the attorney general, alleged that Swallow failed to disclose thousands of dollars given to him.

"This non-disclosure was planned and deliberate," the report said.

The report alleges:

  • Thousands of dollars given to him by Check City and Softwise owner Richard Rawle were not disclosed.
  • Money generated for Swallow's P-Solutions business, which he founded. The report said he acted as its owner/officer from 2010-2012. In a filing, Swallow had his wife, Suzanne, replace him as manager of P-Solutions. The report insists that he "does not appear to have relinquished any control of P-Solutions to his wife as the new manager."
  • Swallow also did not disclose his role as the sole manager of SSV Management.
  • Money given to him from Guidant Strategies and its owner, Jason Powers, who was also a consultant to the Swallow campaign.
  • Money he received from Richard Rawle's company, RMR Consulting, paid to P-Solutions at Swallow's request.

"He clearly misrepresented not only his involvement in corporations and consulting operations, but also the funds that were given to him as a result of those dealings," said Maryann Martindale, the director of Alliance for a Better Utah, which filed the initial complaint leading to the investigation.

The report said the attorney general's cooperation with the investigation was "inconsistent" and accused him of attempting to "control or influence" it. The report said the most significant lack of cooperation was "the apparent document destruction that has been well-publicized in the press."

Swallow resigned Thursday, maintaining his innocence. His attorney, Rod Snow, told FOX 13 they were "disappointed" with the report.

"This is more of an advocacy piece rather than an objective investigation," Snow said, noting that it found only probable cause -- a low legal threshold.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox will now review the report to decide if it will go to court, said Mark Thomas, the Lt. Governor's Elections Director. A judge could then invalidate the election and remove Swallow from office.

But Swallow's resignation may have made the impact of the report moot. Martindale said she still wanted to see it go before a judge.

"Taxpayers deserve to see exactly where this would go," she told FOX 13. "They deserve to see this come to its full conclusion. If that includes fines, I don't even know what the remedies could possibly be. But that's not up for (Swallow) to determine just by his resignation that this is over with."