Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 22, 2013, 5:15pm

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) -- Utah Attorney General John Swallow will step down effective Dec. 2.

Swallow said he submitted his resignation letter to Gov. Gary Herbert Thursday morning.

Swallow, a Republican, has been fighting allegations of ethics and election law violations since he took office earlier this year.

He said during a press conference Thursday that the multiple, ongoing investigations into his alleged misdeeds have taken a toll on him, his family and his finances. He maintains he has done nothing wrong.

However, a source told the Deseret News earlier Thursday that the attorney general's resignation was part of a deal reached with the Lieutenant Governor's Office to avoid facing criminal charges.

The office was expected to release its report Thursday suggesting he be removed from office.

However, Swallow said hasn't seen the report and that it wasn't a factor in his decision to resign. The Deseret News, in an updated story, reported he and his wife made the decision last Sunday.

Mark Thomas, chief deputy lieutenant governor and state director of elections, said in a statement that his office will review the effects of Swallow's resignation on the investigation and will release the final report "once it is complete."

Meanwhile, Herbert said the attorney general's decision is "in the best interests of his family, his constituents and the state."

The governor called on the Republican State Central Committee to convene "as soon as is practical" and send him three names to consider for appointment to the vacancy created by Swallow's resignation.

Herbert will pick one of those candidates to fill the office until a special election can be held -- most likely, next November.

Until he makes that appointment, the governor has asked Major General Brian Tarbet, one of his cabinet members, to "ensure the duties of the office of the attorney general are performed."

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