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Bill passes to ban Swallow-like moonlighting

Published March 13, 2013 8:24 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a bill to clamp down on the consulting work that state officials do — spurred by a side deal that new Attorney General John Swallow engaged in when he was a top deputy in the office.

SB83, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, would require the Governor's Office, attorney general, auditor and treasurer to implement policies that require the top appointees in the office to abide by the same rules as other office staff.

The House passed it 70-1 on Tuesday, then the Senate voted 26-0 to pass amendments added by the House. The bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

The issue came to Weiler's attention when it was revealed that Swallow was doing consulting work on a cement project for a friend who also owned a chain of payday-lending companies. Swallow made $23,500 on the deal while he was Utah's chief deputy attorney general.

Swallow's boss at the time, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, did not know about the side deal and said in an interview it was not a good idea. But because Swallow was a political appointee, the policies governing outside work did not apply to him.

Lee Davidson