Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Ten finalists to lead Swallow probe; Utah firms don’t make the cut

Courts » The winner will be announced Aug. 9.

First Published Aug 02 2013 05:35 pm • Last Updated Aug 06 2013 01:43 pm

No Utah firms are among the 10 finalists for the job of legal counsel to the special House committee investigating Attorney General John Swallow.

A five-member committee whittled the field of 61 firms from across the country down to 10 finalists, which it announced Friday. The survivors include major national firms, with three from Illinois, three from Oregon and others from New York, Georgia, California and Minnesota.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We’re pleased with the number and quality of the firms. The response was well beyond our expectations," said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, who is heading up the House investigative committee.

The winner of the contract is scheduled to be announced Friday. The investigative committee, which legislators created last month to look into a slew of allegations of malfeasance against Swallow, plans to hold its first meeting Tuesday.

The nine-member investigative committee — with five Republicans and four Democrats — is expected to report its findings to the full House, where it could serve as the basis for Swallow’s impeachment.

Once the legal counsel is in place, the committee plans to hire investigators as well. Bidding for that contract has not begun. All told, legislative budget analysts expect the investigation to cost up to $3 million.

The finalists for the legal counsel position are: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP of New York; the Oregon firms of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Harrang Long Gary Rudnick P.C., and Lane Powell P.C.; the Illinois firms of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Jenner & Block LLP, and Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Jones Day from Georgia; Kelley Wolter & Scott P.A. from Minnesota; and Sidley Austin, based in California.

Jones Day and Sidley Austin are among the 10 largest firms in the United States.

The group that screened the applicants included three members of the investigative committee — Dunnigan, Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden, and Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City — Legislative General Counsel John Fellows and Chief Deputy of the House Joe Pyrah.

Swallow is accused of several instances of misconduct, including accepting improper gifts, promising special treatment to donors and helping a major campaign contributor to his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, try to avoid a federal investigation of his businesses.

story continues below
story continues below

Swallow has denied any wrongdoing and has said he will cooperate with the House investigation.

He is also facing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, two Utah county attorneys and the lieutenant governor’s office, as well as a pair of complaints to the Utah State Bar.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.