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Utah Democratic Lawyers Council calls for Swallow investigation to be re-opened

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The saga into the investigation of former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff continues. Thursday afternoon, the Utah Democratic Lawyers Council sent a letter asking the US Department of Justice to reopen its investigation.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- The saga into the investigation of former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff continues. Thursday afternoon, the Utah Democratic Lawyers Council sent a letter asking the US Department of Justice to reopen its investigation.

They argue, despite Swallow’s resignation, there’s still plenty that the public doesn’t know. In order to restore public trust and hold those at fault accountable, the federal investigation must continue.

There are several investigations still ongoing. The FBI and the state criminal investigation with the district attorneys are also continuing. This document is only asking the US Department of Justice to reopen this case. It points to specific reasons why they say there are plenty of unanswered questions that the feds need to look into.

In September, the US Department of Justice closed the investigation into Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff saying there was no credible evidence to press charges. Two months later in November, Utah Attorney General John Swallow resigned. But the Special Legislative Committee continued its investigation. Months later, they revealed Swallow wiped electronic data from his laptops and hard drives.

“It raises suspicion at the very least,” said Utah Democratic Lawyer Council Vice President Jonathan Ruga.

That suspicion mounted when the house investigation also showed a connection between Swallow and Assistant US Attorney Brent Ward and Businessman Jeremy Johnson. The letter by the Utah Democratic Lawyers Council sent to US Attorney General Eric Holder and US Senator Patrick Leahy, reads, in part, “Mr. Swallow told a supporter of Johnson that he was friends with Brent War and if he were elected Attorney General, he could help Johnson with the case that the US Attorney had brought against him.”

All of this found out after the D.O.J. closed its investigation.

“When they announced, I think it was late last summer or early fall that they were not going to pursue charges or a further investigation we just scratched our heads. And as we did further investigations we just scratched our heads even more,” said Chairman of the House Special Investigative Committee.

With more information unfolding, the lawyers council Vice President wants more digging.
“If they are true then there should be consequences, if they aren't true than the gentlemen's names should be cleared,” said Ruga.

And those consequences could lead to federal charges for all parties involved.

“If public officials can act in wrongful ways, then how can we prevent that from becoming rampant?” asked Ruga.

To restore public trust and hold anyone wrong accountable, the state continues investigating criminal charges. But Utah Senator Jim Dabakis says the D.O.J.’s investigation means more.

“The resources and the ability of the U.S. government to look into things and investigate, dwarf any local jurisdiction,” said Dabakis.

Dunnigan says the House Special Investigative Committee will release a complete report on their investigation in about two weeks. Of course, that was a fact-finding mission and a chance to look at campaign finance reform. The committee will meet Friday at 12:15 p.m. to go over those recommendations.

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