In aftermath of Swallow scandal, ethics legislation more important than ever

Salt Lake City–The House Special Investigative Committee, formed to investigate former Attorney General John Swallow, met today to consider ethics and campaign disclosure legislation that would require future officeholders to be more accountable to their constituents and less accountable to their pocketbooks. Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH, released the following statement in response to the Committee’s recommendations:

“We are halfway into the legislative session and only now are our elected leaders seriously considering ethics and election reform in the wake of one of the largest scandals in Utah history. The Swallow scandal joins the Olympic Organizing Committee bribery scandal and the $13 million UDOT payoff scandal as this decade’s biggest reminders that widespread ethics and election reforms are long overdue.

“Still, after today’s House Special Investigative Committee, we remain hopeful that some ethics legislation will make its way to the Governor’s desk. The bills recommended by the committee will make important inroads to improving our election laws. They help clarify and refine the disclosure rules that Swallow ignored, as well as provide enhanced penalties that would help curtail patterns of unethical behavior, or at least provide significant remedy, should politicians choose to behave unethically.

“But these bills are only good if they actually pass, are heeded and are enforced. In the past, our legislature has been hesitant to engage in self governance. We can’t guarantee that our elected leaders will behave well, but we can certainly hold them accountable if they don’t.”

Maryann Martindale
Executive Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
801.557.1532 |

Isaac Holyoak
Communications Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
801.664.9751 |

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