Salt Lake City — The Alliance for a Better UTAH issued a request today to the Utah Governor’s Office and the Utah Attorney General’s Office asking that both offices issue “records preservation orders” in connection with admitted and alleged activities of Attorney General John Swallow.
A records preservation order functions as a quasi-litigation hold. It calls for suspending any normal document destruction practices for records that might otherwise pertain to various ongoing or potential investigations before the records can be discovered through the usual course of investigative practices.
“The litigation hold is a precautionary step to ensure that fair and full investigations can occur into the activities of the attorney general to determine if he was involved in any criminal activity, violated any federal or state laws, and whether he should be disbarred, reprimanded, or exonerated by the Utah State Bar Association,” said Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH.
The records preservation request helps to ensure that specific questions regarding Swallow’s actions remain answerable. For example,
- Are Mr. Johnson’s allegations true and, if so, has the Attorney General committed any crime?
- Do the Attorney General’s actions give rise to a breach of the Utah Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct?
- Do the Attorney General’s actions give rise to a breach of any state law, including, without limitation, the Utah Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act or the Utah Administrative Code (both of which, for example, prohibit the use of state assets for personal use or for personal financial gain)?
In addition to ongoing questions of alleged criminal activity, the Alliance for a Better UTAH has called on the Utah Bar Association to conduct an investigation regarding Swallow’s potential violations of the Utah Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct that might prevent Swallow from fulfilling his duties as the chief law enforcement officer of the State.
Two other requests for investigations have been made since the Salt Lake Tribune reported two weeks ago that Swallow may have been involved in a scheme to bribe U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Utah Democratic Party has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the matter while Swallow himself has asked U.S. Attorney David Barlow to launch an investigation.
A PDF of Better UTAH’s request can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/122160883/Request-for-document-and-records-retention
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.