It was in June of last year when we first spoke with reporters about concerns we had about John Swallow and his questionable ethics. He had made claims to a telemarketer, on a recorded call no less, that when he was elected he would be moving the Division of Consumer Protection under his jurisdiction so he could control who was investigated.
Fast forward to August of this year and even more allegations have emerged. But we’re finally seeing some movement as the first meeting of the House Special Investigative Committee was held this week. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a long, long time before the committee makes any headway.
The investigation needs to be thorough and in depth but it also needs to be expedient. Those two things should not be mutually exclusive. Lead Legislative Counsel John Fellows (no, not their “special” counsel) stated that it was not likely that any witnesses would be called before November or December of this year. It is obvious that at this rate, the investigation will proceed well into and quite likely beyond next year’s legislative session. Swallow will, no doubt, be the topic of discussion on the Hill for yet another session.
As it stands now, the House will investigate, we will spend several million dollars and end up with a report of some sort (they refused to allow the committee to make recommendations), then when they acknowledge that all of this has merit, they’ll vote to start all over again with an impeachment investigation. Its like washing your hair — shampoo, rinse, repeat.
I realize they are in uncharted waters and there is a lot of process to be determined, but here’s what should have happened:
John Swallow should have done the right thing and resigned, months ago. However, in lieu of resignation, the House should have started impeachment proceedings instead of stopping short with a watered-down investigative committee. Even the Senate has made it clear they would have preferred impeachment.
The slew of allegations just keep piling on and although John Swallow seems to believe that only a full federal conviction should warrant his removal, we beg to differ. He has broken the Code of Professional Conduct–an oath he swore to uphold when he passed the Utah State Bar. He has violated several election laws, and even if they don’t end up resulting in a conviction, they were intentional and show his total lack of integrity. And he’s being investigated by practically everyone but the kid that mows his lawn.
The bottom line? John Swallow is not fit to hold office. The public does not trust him and that distrust is like a rash, spreading to the other attorneys in his office and negatively impacting the public’s view of the office as a whole.