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Utah taxpayers foot bill for part of A.G. Swallow’s defense
Ethics » Lawyers from A.G. office defend the boss against the State Bar complaint.

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Jennifer James, an attorney with the private law firm of Clyde Snow & Sessions, said the firm only represent Swallow in several other ongoing investigations but not for any of the complaints before the State Bar.

The attorney general’s office has said no funds were being used to pay Swallow’s legal bills from Clyde Snow & Sessions.

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Swallow, in a June 18 memo to the Utah Legislature, said he had not been asked by the Bar to respond to the Alliance complaint.

Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance, also said her group had no contact with the Bar since filing its complaint in March and did not know who was representing Swallow in that case. But she said the representation of the attorney general by his office in the Gundersen complaint raises questions.

Representation » "At first blush it seems a little inappropriate to be defended by the office, especially when he is the supervisor for all the attorneys defending him," she said.

Jones said attorneys in the office have routinely defended others who have been named in lawsuits in which monetary damages are sought. It even defended Mark Shurtleff when he was attorney general and faced a Bar complaint, she said.

Sean Toomey, the communications director for the Utah State Bar, the supervisory body over attorneys in Utah, said Supreme Court rules do not allow the Bar to comment on complaints pending before it.

Besides the Bar complaints, Swallow is facing investigations by the Department of Justice in cooperation with state investigators, the Davis and Salt Lake county attorneys, the lieutenant governor’s office and a special committee of the Utah House of Representatives.

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Twitter: @TomHarveySltrib

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