Reyes named as next attorney general

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Gary Herbert announced Monday that Sean Reyes would be Utah’s new attorney general.

“My hope is to win the trust of all of the citizens of our good state over the next year to come,” Reyes said, and noted he was “humbled by the responsibility and the weight of this office.”

Reyes fills the position left by John Swallow who resigned earlier this month. Swallow had served as attorney general for 11 months amid various investigations spurred by accusations of ethical misconduct made just days after he took office. Swallow said the financial and emotional strain on his family and office were taking their toll. Maintaining his innocence, Swallow publicly announced his resignation Nov. 21, which took affect Dec. 3.

One of three names forwarded to the governor by the Utah Republican Central Committee Dec. 14., Reyes garnered over garnered over 60 percent of the committee vote in the first round of voting.

The other names sent to the governor were acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet and Robert Smith, managing director of Brigham Young University’s International Center of Law and Religious Studies.

Though Herbert did not select Tarbet, Reyes has asked him to stay on as a chief deputy attorney.

Reyes originally ran against Swallow for the Republican nomination for attorney general in 2012 and lost in the primaries.

Reyes is expected to be sworn into office next month. He will serve in 2014 as a temporary appointment until a candidate for attorney general is voted in to finish the remaining two years of Swallow’s original term. Reyes has stated he plans to run for election and doesn’t see future campaigning for the position as a conflict.

As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah Democratic Party isn’t exactly happy that Reyes will be campaigning while also working on cleaning up the attorney general’s image.

Jim Dabakis, Utah Democratic Party chairman, said: “The governor could have picked a steward to clean up the mess left by (former Attorneys General Mark) Shurtleff and Swallow. Instead, Herbert has decided to play politics as usual and again put his rabid GOP delegates ahead of the people of Utah.”

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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