Should Swallow be Disbarred?

Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH, released the following statement today regarding recent allegations levied at State Attorney General John Swallow:

“The allegations surrounding State Attorney General John Swallow are serious and deserve widespread attention.

“As others call for further investigation into these matters, the Alliance for a Better UTAH calls on the Utah Bar Association to investigate Swallow’s activities to determine whether, as the state’s head lawyer, he should be disbarred or otherwise reprimanded for violations of the Utah Bar Associations Rules of Professional Conduct.

“Better UTAH believes that:

  • A lawyer has an obligation to represent the interest of his client vigorously. By prioritizing the interest of Johnson, even if legal, Swallow is failing to vigorously represent the interests of his other clients – the remaining population of the State of Utah.
  • A lawyer should not prioritize the interest of one client over the interest of another. Swallow’s actions appear to prioritize Johnson’s interest over the interests of all other Utahns.
  • A lawyer should not act adversely to the interest of his client. By assisting Johnson, in whatever manner, Swallow is acting adversely to the interest of the remaining citizens of the State of Utah.

“Lawyers self-regulate, making the Bar Association uniquely positioned to address questions regarding Swallow’s ethical conduct as the State’s chief law enforcement officer.

“Further, Swallow’s relationship with Johnson establishes the importance of renewing the need to review the code of ethics and ethical practices applicable to all of Utah’s elected officials. Swallow’s apparent moonlighting as a consultant while being employed on a full-time basis by the State of Utah likely constitutes a conflict of interest that prevents Swallow from impartially applying the rule of law. As the state’s leading litigator, public confidence in our legal system requires that everyday citizens trust that the rule of law will be applied fairly and without regard to their relationship to the Attorney General or any other public official.”
Alliance for a Better Utah |  801.557.1532   |
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.

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