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Feds won’t charge Utah attorney general, but other probes roll on
Probe » After months of allegations and inquiries, the A.G. and his predecessor say they see light at end of tunnel.

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Allegations • Since taking office in January, Swallow has faced a storm of accusations, including conflicts of interest, facilitating a deal to derail a federal probe, and telling donors that they could receive special consideration from the A.G.’s office in exchange for campaign contributions.

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Snow said he met Wednesday with the committee’s new special counsel, Steven Reich, which he said was a "get-to-know each other" meeting. He said Swallow intends to cooperate with the House investigation, but that will depend in part on the direction the committee heads.

"If they’re going to unload all of these subpoenas on the executive branch and start taking, perhaps, testimony and depositions, the whole thing could be very disruptive and very intrusive," he said. "There are some cases that have said that violates the separation of powers and the court has jurisdiction to prevent that."

Jeremy Johnson told The Tribune in January that Swallow helped arrange a deal aimed at bribing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to quash a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Johnson’s business — a claim both Swallow and Reid denied. Swallow acknowledged helping line up lobbyists for Johnson, who was a major donor to Shurtleff.

Marc Sessions Jenson, who is behind bars on securities violations, has accused Swallow and Shurtleff of shaking him down for more than $200,000 in favors for themselves and others, and then prosecuting him when he failed to go along with their demands. Jenson said Swallow and Shurtleff took posh vacations to his Newport Beach, Calif., villa on Jenson’s dime while the now-jailed businessman was free on a plea deal with the Utah attorney general’s office. He produced receipts to back up some of these claims.

Meanwhile, businessman Darl McBride provided a recording of a 2009 breakfast meeting in which Shurtleff offered him $2 million to take down a website criticizing Mark Robbins, Jenson’s former business partner. Shurtleff said he could get the money from Jenson because of his plea deal. Jenson said he refused.

Swallow and Shurtleff have denied wrongdoing.

"Today’s a good day. It was a day I expected to come at some point," Swallow said. "I’m not out of the woods yet. I’ve got other people looking at me and I will continue to be as open and cooperative as I possibly can."


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Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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