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But Maryann Martindale, the group’s executive director, said in an interview that even though nine counts were dismissed, she is pleased three are going forward.
"I do think those three are probably the most substantive parts of the claim. Those were the ones I felt like we had the strongest remedy," she said. "It’s good that they’re taking this seriously as they are."
Indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, who faces 86 criminal counts, has alleged that Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped broker payoffs to enlist the aid of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in derailing a Federal Trade Commission investigation of Johnson’s I Works business.
Swallow and Reid have denied the allegations. The Justice Department is investigating.
Join us for a Trib Talk chat
Reporters Robert Gehrke and Tom Harvey will join Trib Talk host Jennifer Napier-Pearce for a behind-the-scenes look at the ethics controversy involving Utah Attorney General John Swallow and former AG Mark Shurtleff. Visit sltrib. com Tuesday at 11 a.m. for the live video chat.
She said her group will continue to monitor the selection of a special counsel to make sure whoever is chosen doesn’t have partisan conflicts or ties to the attorney general’s office and has the expertise to do the job.
The move to appoint a special counsel is the latest bad news for Swallow.
This week, convicted businessman Marc Sessions Jenson told The Salt Lake Tribune of a series of trips that Swallow and then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff took to a luxurious Newport Beach villa, charging thousands of dollars of expenses to Jenson.
At the time, Jenson was free, thanks to a plea deal he had cut with prosecutors in the attorney general’s office on six felony charges related to a failed business deal. Jenson is back in prison after failing to pay restitution as part of that deal.
Swallow did not work in the attorney general’s office at the time, but was a fundraiser for Shurtleff. Jenson said Swallow told him he would join the office as Shurtleff’s handpicked successor.
And last week, the former head of the state’s Division of Consumer Protection filed a complaint with the Utah State Bar alleging Swallow violated attorneys’ ethics rules when he discussed a case brought by the division with a potential donor without the agency’s knowledge.
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