Utah State Bar drops ethical misconduct complaint against Swallow

SALT LAKE CITY – It was announced Sunday that the Utah State Bar will close one of its investigations into Utah Attorney General John Swallow, and will not prosecute him concerning allegations that Swallow violated rules of professional conduct.

The investigation, closed earlier this week by the Utah State Bar, was prompted by a complaint filed in January 2013 by the group Alliance for a Better Utah. In an Oct. 8 letter to Maryann Martindale, the group’s executive director, the Utah State Bar said it was closing the investigation, stating that Martindale had not supplied sufficient evidence of Swallow’s alleged wrongdoings beyond news media reports. The letter also stated that Martindale breached confidentiality provisions by discussing the investigation with the media.

The Alliance’s accusations of Swallow’s ethical misconduct are largely related to the attorney general’s previous dealings with indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson. Johnson has alleged that the attorney general helped arrange to bribe Nevada Sen. Harry Reid in order to stop a federal investigation into Johnson’s company. Both Reid and Swallow have denied the accusation.

“I am grateful to the bar for its careful consideration of the allegations and for its reasoned analysis in closing the case,” Swallow said in a statement. “Despite the early rush to judgment, it is now becoming clear that people with an agenda have made unsubstantiated allegations.”

Martindale also issued a statement concerning the closure of the investigation, claiming the Utah State Bar has neglected its duties in the matter.

We have only one agenda: bringing balance, transparency, and accountability to Utah political institutions and elected officials,” she said. “This is an agenda that, apparently, the Utah Bar Association does not share with us.”

Martindale also stated that she only learned that they were dropping the investigation on Sunday through the media, and never received the Oct. 8 letter.

Though the bar association castigated us for discussing our complaint with the media, we did not learn that the bar had dismissed our complaint except through the media. Such administrative incompetence should be deeply concerning for the people of Utah,” Martindale said.

The Utah State Bar’s decision to drop this part of their investigation into Swallow comes a month after the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its own investigation into the attorney general. However, the Salt Lake and Davis County attorney’s offices are still investigating Swallow, as is a Special Investigative Committee appointed by the Utah House. 

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

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



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  • ladybugavenger October 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    All I can say about that is, whatever.people don’t t want to do their jobs and investigate- they are probably afraid of they would find if they dug below the surface

  • My Evil Twin October 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Well, when the people who are making the accusation are known fraudsters and crooks, that sort of shed a bit of doubt on the original accusations, don’t you think? Or would you rather have had Swallow just taken out and shot, as soon as one of these dirt bags, (a wealthy dirt bag IS STILL a dirt bag,) points his or her finger?
    This may, or may not be over yet. If it is over, then it is time to move on. If there is still some sort of investigation going on, (even if it is an undisclosed one,) let us wait and see what happens.

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