Salt Lake City — The Alliance for a Better UTAH has issued the following statement regarding Attorney General John Swallow’s response to an election law violation petition filed with the Lt. Governor’s Office:
The facts in this case are simple. Pursuant to Utah’s election laws, two citizens filed a complaint alleging election law violations against John Swallow. The statute not only empowers, but requires the Lt. Governor’s office to determine if the complaint has merit. In the event it does, the Legislature has provided that the complaint shall be referred to special counsel. If the special counsel finds a violation, the statute provides the applicable remedies.
While the attorneys representing the complainants will thoroughly review the Attorney General’s response and draft a suitable response, the Lt. Governor’s decision to add another layer of review by hiring, or intending to hire, special counsel to issue a legal opinion in this matter suggests that there is merit to the complaint and referral to a special counsel for investigation is clearly in order.
The Lt. Governor’s decision to hire special counsel to determine if the complaint should be referred to special counsel is absurd, reeks of cronyism, is a waste of taxpayer resources, and seems to thwart the Legislative intent of Utah’s election laws.
Having effectively determined that the complaint has merit, we call on the Lt. Governor’s office to promptly appoint an appropriately independent special counsel with applicable election law expertise to investigate the complaint and determine if Mr. Swallow has engaged in any wrongdoing under the applicable statutes. Such a step is the only way to assure the citizens of Utah that Mr. Swallow’s actions, and Utah’s election laws, are being fully and properly investigated to either clear Mr. Swallow or to find that he has violated state election law.
Alliance for a Better UTAH | 801.557.1532 | www.betterutah.org
The Alliance for a Better UTAH is a year-round, multi-issue education and advocacy organization providing resources, commentary, and action on important public policy matters.