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The most important, according to Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, chairman of the investigative committee, is giving future legislative inquiries the authority to go to a grand jury to obtain subpoenas to compel witnesses to provide information.
Dunnigan noted that, during the Swallow investigation, nine of the committee’s subpoenas were ignored or fought in court.
"It took time, effort, resources and money to do that, and I believe it was a strategy from some of those we’d subpoenaed," Dunnigan said. "They wanted to delay and try to wait us out and run up the tab in order to discourage us."
Jason Powers, Swallow’s campaign consultant, for example, resisted subpoenas issued to his business and a series of political action committees he ran.
Officials at Provo-based Check City, whose late founder Richard Rawle played an important part in the Swallow scandal, also fought a subpoena issued to the payday-lending company.
A grand jury subpoena would be harder for parties to resist.
The Legislature passed a bill last session to strengthen legislative subpoenas, but Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed it, fearing it went too far in keeping the party from challenging the demand in court.
The committee also discussed proposals that would require major campaign donors — anyone giving more than $5,000 to a candidate — to file a disclosure report and bar lawyers in the attorney general’s office from doing outside legal or consulting work.
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