Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Utah Attorney General John Swallow announces his resignation, Thursday November 21, 2013 in Salt Lake City.
More Swallow emails recovered, probe’s price nears $4M
Investigation » Final report by the House committee is delayed until next week.
First Published Mar 07 2014 04:23 pm • Last Updated Mar 08 2014 12:38 pm

The Utah House committee working to finalize a report on its investigation of former Attorney General John Swallow continues to receive information, with some 400 additional emails recovered from Swallow’s home computer provided to the panel last week.

The documents show Swallow’s direct knowledge of the efforts by the payday-lending industry to drive former Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, from office, said legislative counsel John Fellows.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Evidence also reflects Swallow’s involvement in a network of nonprofits and political action committees used to hide $450,000 in contributions from the payday-lending industry because they might be deemed politically damaging.

"They found further evidence," Fellows said, "corroborating some of the facts and information that were disclosed to the committee in the December meeting."

The bipartisan panel spent more than $100,000 to recover the documents from Swallow’s home computer, which the former Republican attorney general said had failed early last year.

Fellows said the 400 new emails — and another 1,300 the committee received earlier and turned over to criminal prosecutors — are being worked into the committee’s final report.

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, chairman of the House investigative committee, said he hoped to have the panel approve the final report Friday, but the additional information means it likely won’t be available until next week.

Dunnigan said he plans to have a committee meeting Tuesday, when members can vote to approve the report. The panel then plans to present the final copy — the culmination of the nearly $4 million probe — on the House floor Wednesday morning.

Dunnigan said the draft report is about 200 pages long with more than 3,700 pages of exhibits. It will be put online for the public once it is presented to the House.

"We hope to share the information as soon as we can," Dunnigan said. "It’s just the gymnastics of getting it on the Web."

story continues below
story continues below

The House voted in July to launch its investigation into alleged misconduct by Swallow. The committee hired special counsel, issued a number of subpoenas and spent nearly an estimated $1 million recovering lost data before Swallow announced his resignation in November.

In December, investigators spent two days spelling out pay-to-play arrangements in which Swallow did special favors for big donors and political backers. They revealed a shadow fundraising network that funneled more than $450,000 from payday lenders to a series of nonprofits, spending money to attack opponents of Swallow and the industry.

And, perhaps most significantly, investigators pointed to what they viewed as a pattern in which Swallow lost or destroyed data and fabricated other documents to try to justify a consulting deal he had with a prominent payday lender and cover his interaction with a St. George businessman. That businessman, Jeremy Johnson, was under federal investigation at the time and has since been charged with scores of felony fraud charges.

Swallow had data lost or deleted from his work laptop and desktop computers, his home computer and his cellphone. He lost a campaign iPad and a backup hard drive that had information from his work computer. He also lost an untold number of emails and calendar entries.

Two prosecutors — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat, and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican — are still conducting a criminal investigation of Swallow, his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, and others. Assisted by FBI agents, their probe already has produced felony charges against Shurtleff confidant Tim Lawson.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.