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Citizens group asks Lt. Gov. to investigate Swallow

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Mar. 7, 2013 at 11:22 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A citizens group says Attorney General John Swallow should be removed from office for violating state election law, and they're asking the lieutenant governor's office to start an immediate investigation.

Uathns for Ethical Government filed the petition Thursday, saying the violations are yet another breach of public trust.

"Either the law means something or it doesn't," said David Irvine of Utahns for Ethical government. "Either they have a right to expect candid, complete accurate disclosure or they don't. But they shouldn't have to be involved in a pretend process, which happens if no one cares about this and looks into the discrepancies."

The 30-page complaint says Swallow's campaign failed to report his business interests or income on several occasions. It also alleges he may have misused state resources and campaign funds during the course the campaign.

In addition, it ties the state complaint to a federal justice department and FBI probe into Swallow's relationship with indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.

Johnson — along with four former business associates — is now facing 86 charges of improperly charging millions of dollars to tens of thousands of consumers.

Johnson alleges he paid Swallow to try to stop the federal probe in its early stages. The FBI is investigating the claims.

A spokesman for the attorney general said Swallow is not going to resign.

The claims are "inaccurate and meritless ," said Jason Powers, Swallow's former campaign manager. "Nonetheless, the campaign will address any questions directed to it from the lieutenant governor's office."

The attorney general himself is not commenting on this latest complaint.

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