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Special Investigative Committee to look into Swallow Allegations

The state house met in special session Wednesday and voted to go ahead with an investigation of Attorney General, John Swallow.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The state house met in special session Wednesday and voted to go ahead with an investigation of Attorney General, John Swallow.

An investigation that could take months, cost millions and lead to Swallow's impeachment. If that happens it would be a first for the state of Utah.

Criminal investigations are long underway into alleged misconduct by Utah Attorney General, John Swallow. 

"None of those investigations are under any obligation to share their information with the legislature," says Representative, Dean Sanpei.

That's why you can now add a legislative investigation to the list as lawmakers look for answers of their own. Investigators will have authority to go beyond Swallow's time as the Attorney General as they search for potential wrong doing.

"That may extend to things that occurred prior to his being in office if the committee, by a majority vote feels like those things are relevant to the investigation," says Sanpei.

The Special Investigative Committee will consist of nine members. It will be put together by House Speaker, Becky Lockhart.

"I haven't made any decisions just yet, because it is an enormous thing and appointing a chair of this committee weighs on me heavily," says Lockhart.

As the Speaker ponders that decision she will not be bound by party rules. The House voted to allow her to put whoever she wants on the team, regardless of affiliation.

"I'll get together with the leadership team, I'll talk with the minority leader about all of those issues."

Lockhart hopes to have the committee in place this month. She says results of the investigation could come by the end of the year. Then the next steps will be up to the House.

“The committee will bring the evidence to the House and then the House at that point will determine whether or not to move forward with impeachment proceedings," says Sanpei.

A spokesperson from the Attorney General's Office had no comment, but he did refer to a letter Swallow sent to the Legislature saying he felt they would be overstepping their bounds to give the committee authority to go beyond his time as attorney general.

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