Ex-AG John Swallow raises new argument for dismissing criminal case against him

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow made new arguments in a court filing Friday for dismissing the public corruption charges against him.

Defense attorney Scott Williams contends prosecutors shouldn’t be allowed to use an interview Swallow did as part of a lieutenant governor’s office inquiry into alleged wrongdoing in the attorney general’s office.

“As part of the lieutenant governor’s investigation into whether a basis existed to remove him from office, Mr. Swallow was compelled to submit to an investigative interview under a direct threat of job loss,” Williams wrote.

Williams contends Swallow’s right against self-incrimination bars the government from using statements compelled under the threat of losing his position in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox decided not to pursue a civil complaint against Swallow over alleged election law violations in November 2013 because Swallow had already announced his resignation. Cox, however, did make his report available to other investigations for any possible criminal charges.

Prosecutors used Swallow’s statements to obtain search warrants for his home and electronic devices, and form criminal charges against him, according to the filing in 3rd District Court.

Williams wants the judge to hold a hearing to explore whether prosecutors can show they did not use the statements to prosecute Swallow.


“At the conclusion of that hearing, Mr. Swallow anticipates that the state will be unable to satisfy its burden,” he wrote. “Accordingly, at that time, Mr. Swallow will ask for — and be entitled to — the dismissal of the charge against him.”

Swallow faces a dozen felony and misdemeanor charges, including bribery, falsifying government records, misuse of public money and obstruction of justice. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled for February.


Defense Attorney for John Swallow  * Attorney representing John Swallow * Attorney Brad Anderson

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