The legislative committee investigating possible wrong doings of Utah Attorney General John Swallow, now has a new chairman.
"We understand that public perception is paramount. It’s of great importance in this whole process," said Speaker Becky Lockhart, (R) Dist. 64.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart tells Reporter Brian Carlson that Representative Lowry Snow is out, and Speaker Pro-Temp, Representative Jim Dunnigan is in. Snow had links to Jeremy Johnson, one of Swallow's accusers. When Carlson spoke with Snow over the phone last week he said if his connections became a conflict of interest he would step down for the good of the investigation.
"It will be dealt with fairly, in a way that if I have to recuse myself or I would assume if any other member of the committee has to recuse themselves for a conflict. That's the way it will be dealt with," said Rep. Lowry Snow, (R) Dist. 74.
Although Lockhart has confidence in Snow, she agrees this is the right move.
"What we're looking for is someone who can be objective and discerning and remember this is an investigation there will be no conclusions at the end of this, all we will have is a report of what they have found," said Lockhart.
Right now Swallow is being accused of bribery, extortion and to some losing the public's trust. Lockhart said that's why it's so important not to give people a reason to distrust his investigation.
"That is the whole point of this is to have an open and transparent so that the people can see what we have found and that's what we will be doing," said Lockhart.
If you've been followed the “who's who” of this investigative committee, you know Rep. Dunnigan was already a member. With Snow now gone, it creates a vacancy on the committee. I'm told that spot will be filled by Republican Representative Francis Gibson of District 65.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv