SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) -- Utah lawmakers, who are expected to convene at the state Capitol Wednesday, most likely will discuss Attorney General John Swallow and the growing list of allegations against him.
Some of the issues surrounding Swallow will be discussed in public, according to the Deseret News. Others, including his possible impeachment, likely will be talked about behind closed doors.
Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, told the newspaper Monday that lawmakers are starting to question how effective Swallow can be as the state's top lawyer.
"The more rumors, the more innuendo, the more stories and everything that's out there, it has got to be affecting the office," he said.
Okerlund told the News that the legislature may have to step in sooner than it had hoped.
In January, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah confirmed that the newly-elected Swallow was being investigated, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI, for allegations that he helped make a federal investigation into a St. George businessman go away.
Jeremy Johnson is accused of running a multi-million-dollar fraudulent software scheme in which he billed hundreds of thousands of consumers for products they never ordered.
He has alleged that Swallow arranged a deal to pay U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to stop a Federal Trade Commission investigation into his business.
So far, nothing has come of the federal investigation.
On top of which, two complaints have been filed against Swallow for ethics violations.
In March, the Alliance for a Better Utah filed an 18-page petition with the Lieutenant Governor's Office.
The petition alleges 12 counts by Swallow, who the group argues should be removed.
Among the allegations: Swallow filed a misleading or false campaign declaration and disclosure forms regarding his personal business interests; that he conducted campaign activities at his state office during and after business hours; and that he used campaign funds for personal use.
Then, last week, Traci Gunderson, the state's former consumer protection director, filed a complaint against the attorney general with the Utah State Bar.
In the complaint, filed May 3, she alleges Swallow -- inappropriately -- conducted preliminary settlement negotiations with a telemarketing company against which the Division of Consumer Protection had fined.
Swallow did not have permission from the division to do so, Gunderson, a former assistant attorney general, contends.
Swallow, a Republican and who took office in January, has maintained he has done nothing wrong.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, pointing to Gunderson's allegations, told the News that all options, including impeachment, are "on the table."
Under the Utah Constitution, impeachment begins in the House with a two-thirds majority vote. The Senate then conducts a trial, acting as judge and jury.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.