The following are the full responses to two sets of questions posed via e-mail to Utah Attorney General John Swallow regarding Jeremy Johnson’s allegations that Swallow helped broker a deal to make his problems with federal regulators disappear. The exchanges have been modified to identify the question and Swallow’s response.
Swallow • I have been reliably advised Jeremy Johnson is making false and defamatory allegations about me. We are not sure of his motivation but it appears they may be tied to those who have political motives. Any suggestion by Mr. Johnson that I have been involved in illegal or inappropriate activity regarding his FTC case or any other matter is false and defamatory. He has apparently peddled his story to a number of people, none of whom have taken the allegations seriously. To do otherwise would perpetuate libelous material.
Tribune • Did you arrange for Jeremy Johnson to pay money to try to resolve his problems with the FTC or other federal regulators or law enforcement?
Swallow • No. Jeremy asked me if I knew any lobbyists that could help him with a issues with the FTC. I told him no but that I had a former client and friend who had good contacts with Congressional lobbyists and that I could introduce this former client to him, if he wanted. At this point in time no action had been filed by the FTC and this was long before any criminal charges were filed by the US Government. I told Jeremy I could not and would not intervene with the FTC on his behalf, given my position with the State AG. Mr. Johnson and some of his associates met with my former client and his associates and independently of me worked out an agreement to which I was not a party.
Tribune • If so, what was the arrangement? How much was paid? To whom? What was the purpose? How was the money spent?
Swallow • What I know about the arrangement has come second hand. I cannot provide definitive details of the arrangement. I do not know how the monies were spent. My understanding was that Johnson wanted to engage some federal relations experts to lawfully and appropriately assist him in communicating his position to key people at the FTC with the hopes of resolving differences or reaching a settlement with the FTC.
Tribune • Did you receive any compensation or payment for arranging the deal?
Swallow • I did not arrange the deal. I referred Jeremy to a former client and friend who I thought might have good contacts and they worked out the arrangement independent of me. I was not compensated or paid any monies for facilitating the contact for Johnson.
Tribune • Have you otherwise been compensated or received money from anyone outside of the attorney general’s office since you became chief deputy? If so, by whom, how much and for what purpose?
Swallow • Nothing out of the ordinary. I have received family gifts and money from investments. I have sold assets. I have refinanced a mortgage on my house. I consulted on an out of state, business project consistent with state laws and regulations for which money was paid. I have reported everything that has been required to be reported under the law.
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