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Senator aims to close loophole Swallow exploited
Utah politics » Bill would strengthen the rules and conflict-of-interest safeguards for top state officials.

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Weiler said he is not trying to put a stop to the work they can do and especially doesn’t want to affect the career attorneys who he said are already underpaid.

"We have assistant attorneys general who are paid so far below the standard rate of attorneys that they’re literally selling suits on the weekend," Weiler said. While he would rather pay them better, he doesn’t want to stop them from making a living.

At a glance

Moonlighting in A.G.’s Office

Chief Deputy Kirk Torgensen » Teaches constitutional law at the University of Utah and search and seizure and a course on critical legal issues at Weber State University. He also teaches a course that includes internal-affairs investigations at the police academy.

General Counsel Brian Tarbet » Teaches American Military and Defense Institutions at Utah State University.

Director of Communications and Policy Paul Murphy » Consults on the National Amber Alert Training and Assistance Program. He also teaches Amber Alert training and writes a newsletter on the program.

Deputy Communications Director Ryan Bruckman » Acts and directs in community theater, receiving tickets for his work.

Director of Law Enforcement Ken Wallentine » Teaches search and seizure and canine legal issues at the policy academy. He is not compensated for the course but does use the POST firing range. He also consults on police practices and policy and is employed by a law enforcement policy-consulting firm.

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Republican senators were urged again Thursday during a closed caucus to avoid making public statements that might compromise their ability to be an impartial jury if the House approves articles of impeachment against Swallow.

Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, said he doesn’t expect it will come to that.

"I don’t think there’s a real good chance that we would be in an impeachment situation and certainly not until after the session," Okerlund said. "I think the more likely process would be, if there’s an indictment, that he would just resign."

Meanwhile, former Republican state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Dan Liljenquist said Thursday that it is time for Swallow to resign or else face impeachment.

"A lot of people are saying that John Swallow deserves due process. He absolutely does in a court of law, but you do not have the right to the public trust," Liljenquist said. "I really don’t think John Swallow can effectively operate as attorney general with the cloud that hangs over his office, regardless of whether or not criminal charges are filed."

He said if Swallow doesn’t step down, the Legislature should move to impeach him, although he acknowledged that would likely not come until after the current legislative session.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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