ST. GEORGE — Cherilyn Eagar, director of the American Leadership Fund and former candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2nd Congressional District of Utah, has her own opinions on what should be done with Attorney General John Swallow. She is calling upon Utah to take action.
Swallow’s previous response to impeachment suggestions
In an interview with Doug Wright on KSL Radio, Swallow told KSL “Why would you step down from a duly elected office when two-thirds of the people in Utah elected you because of your vision and your platform just because of allegations from questionable sources?”
BYU Poll, Swallow unpopular
A voter poll conducted by Brigham Young University found that a total of 78 percent of Utahns polled think Swallow should resign while 72 percent believe the Utah House of Representatives should begin formal impeachment proceedings against him.
“It’s not about the Attorney General,” Eagar wrote in a letter to the state’s legislature. “It’s about adhering to constitutional law, and in Utah, a conservative Attorney General is in the cross fire.”
Eagar has developed the Take Action Utah initiative to promote what she wrote is “about giving him, and everyone to follow, a fair process.”
Eager is not unfamiliar with being in the position of accused. During the 2012 election season, she and three other candidates were accused by a fellow candidate of disseminating a letter designed to prevent then candidate Chris Stewart from winning the nomination for Utah’s 2nd congressional district. Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright conducted an investigation and found the allegations unsupported.
U.S. Attorney General’s Office responds
“The attorney general wants to do everything possible to provide information to the legislature and to treat it fairly,” Paul Murphy, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, said.
Take Action Utah
The Utah House of Representatives has drafted a resolution to form a special committee to investigate Attorney General John Swallow.
Eagar does not feel it is fair. She wrote, “some Republicans in leadership and Democrats alike who have political aspirations have found this to be an opportunity to score at the expense of a colleague that is perhaps too conservative for their liking.”
“It is of specific regard to the process,” Eagar said. “I want our legislature to focus on the process. Their legislative counsel is in-house, hired and fired by the same person that appoints the investigative committee, so I am asking the legislature to do three things. First read the case law within the Utah supreme court and how it defines impeachment. The second is to ask for a second opinion on this current resolution, and that would require them to wait a month. This is very much protocol at the federal level,” Eagar said. “It is not a statement on whether this individual is innocent or guilty it just asks our legislature to look at the process and ask for prudence.”
“I do support the investigation,” Eagar said. “The big concern is that the process needs to be there, something that you or I would want if in this position. Our elected officials all live in glass houses so-to-speak, so they need to get their own houses in order, and ask if they would want the same sort of scrutiny. I hope this will result in cleaning things up – there’s no doubt there is corruption at all levels.”
Eagar is calling Utah residents to action to send an email or make a phone call to their representatives before tomorrow, July 3, 2013. Here is the contact list.
Eagar addresses the members of the Utah State House of Representatives in a memorandum asking that they read two pieces of documentation before Wednesday.
The first is a proposed resolution to set the rules for a House Special Investigative Committee. The resolution can be viewed here.
The second is an additional letter to the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel with a copy of three cases brought before the Utah Supreme Court that document the Court’s interpretation of impeachment. The letter with attachments can be viewed here.
Regarding the documentation attached to the Take Action Utah initiative, Eagar wrote:
The Utah Supreme Court defines the terms of impeachment far differently from your in-house legislative counsel, who is hired (or fired) by the same person that appoints the investigative committee, the Speaker of the House. That puts your in-house counsel at a disadvantage, if not under pressure to accommodate his employer.
Eagar urges the House of Representatives to support a motion to postpone the resolution for one month, and to hire outside counsel to the legislature to provide a second opinion. Read the entire memorandum here.
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