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Swallow saga amps up push for a recall provision
Politics » Legislator says move would be “positive” for Utah.

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Amending the Utah Constitution to implement the recall would take a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate.

A majority of voters then would have to approve it on the 2014 ballot.

At a glance

Sutherland to Swallow: Resign

A leading Utah conservative think tank called Tuesday for Attorney General John Swallow to resign, saying he should put the integrity of his office before his self-interest.

“John Swallow is the chief law enforcement officer in Utah and precisely because I believe that he strives to be a man of integrity, he should step down,” Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute, posted on the group’s website.

Mero, who said he considers Swallow a friend and a competent attorney, argued the attorney general should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But he added there is enough evidence in various allegations to suggest “something is wrong in the Swallow case” even if it is poor judgment.

“A person of integrity holding public office would put that office before himself,” Mero wrote. “... The point about integrity isn’t about function as much as it is about the confidence that citizens have in the people they elect — especially the person they elect to be the state’s top cop.”

State Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, also has called on Swallow to step down. State Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Nephi, has said many legislators share that feeling and that the chamber should seriously consider Swallow’s impeachment. Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, has said he believes Swallow should take a leave of absence pending the outcome of a federal and state investigation.

Swallow’s spokesman has said the attorney general hasn’t broken any laws and has no plans to resign.

Robert Gehrke

Swallow allegations

» Indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson has, at times, accused Utah Attorney General John Swallow of helping to arrange to bribe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Swallow says he only helped Johnson set up a lobbying deal.

» Lt. Gov. Greg Bell’s office plans to hire a special counsel to investigate whether Swallow violated campaign financial disclosure rules.

» The Utah State Bar has at least two ethics complaints aimed at Swallow.

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Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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