Friday, December 20, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune: Obstruction of Justice? Swallow Fabricated Documents, Investigators Say - Updated

Looks like our former Utah Attorney General's in a heap o' trouble, dunnit?

There's a truly mind-boggling set of alleged facts and revelations emerging from the reeking John Swallow cess-pool this week, as the Special Utah House Investigation Committee winds down its activities, and enters the second day of reporting its findings in their six-month investigation of former Attorney General John Swallow. The Salt Lake Tribune's Robert Gehrke is all over the story this morning.  Hold onto you hats, folks:
Here's the gist, folks:
John Swallow left a 2012 meeting at Krispy Kreme with Jeremy Johnson so alarmed that he was in the cross hairs of federal investigators that Swallow took drastic measures to cover his tracks and ties to the indicted businessman, Utah House investigators said Thursday.
In the weeks that followed, Swallow obliterated his electronic footprints and created new documents designed to mislead anyone who might delve into his activities, according to evidence pieced together by a five-month investigation by a special House committee.
"We believe the evidence here shows Mr. Swallow panicked following the Krispy Kreme meeting, thinking about the consequences that would occur in terms of his political run for attorney general if Mr. Johnson went public with his allegations," said Steve Reich, special counsel to the committee. "And it was this panic that led him down a path of evidence elimination and evidence fabrication."
Within weeks of the doughnut shop exchange, Swallow had thehard drives on his state-issued computers wiped clean and appears to have purged thousands of emails, later lying to the public and investigators about their disappearance, Reich said. He bought a "burner" phone that couldn’t be traced and created a fake paper trail for consulting work he did on a Nevada cement project.
"Based on the record available to us, our conclusion is that the Krispy Kreme meeting that Mr. Swallow had with Jeremy Johnson … set off a months-long spree where Mr. Swallow destroyed or lost records while creating new ones designed to support his version of events."
His record of behavior, his shifting story and attempts to mislead investigators and the public, taken as a whole, Reich said, cannot be innocently explained away.
Yes. Many of us expected the worst; and it appears that's just what's being rolled out, as the discussion turns to the possible legal blowback for the beleaguered John Swallow, as is set forth in the accompanying SL-Trib "companion" story:
Howbout obstruction of justice and criminal provisions within the Government Records Access and Management Act, and Utah State Bar disbarment, just for "starters?"

Looks like our former Utah Attorney General's in a heap o' trouble, dunnit?

Of course, Swallow and his "mouthpiece," Salt Lake attorney Rod Snow, continue to proclaim his innocence, as Snow's hourly billings keep on mounting up.

Update 12/20/13 11:40 a.m.: Added bonus for those who'd like to follow today's Utah House of Representatives  hearing in realtime:
Simultaneously fascinating and disturbing, indeed.

Remember my fellow Utah voters.  Always vote GOP straight ticket [Wink].

Update 12/21/13 6:30 a.m.:  The Tribune carries the day 2 report, which is even creepier than day 1:
Tony Soprano for Utah Attorney General!


Bob Becker said...

You are SO judgmental. AG Swallow has Family Values, as the Family Values Party told us when it nominated him and campaigned for him. One of those values, clearly, is to constantly strive to improve. And so when this good Christian man was falsely accused of heinous things, he merely tried to improve the records to facilitate the investigators' job and help them reach the right conclusions. And now his attempts to improve the documentary record are being creuly described as attempts to fake documents. Imorpve/fake --- toMAYto/toMAHto. People are SO judgmental.

Dan S. said...

As the presentation continues today, the investigators have been describing the shell game that Swallow played with campaign contributions, and the central role of Jason Powers in that shell game. One committee member asked if Powers has similarly hidden the source of campaign contributions to other candidates he has worked for. The investigators didn't know the answer to that, but emphasized that Powers refused to cooperate with their subpoenas, and thus succeeded in running out the clock on the investigation.

Dan S. said...

Rep. McKell just said explicitly that someone needs to go to jail as a result of this. And the only name he named explicitly was Jason Powers.

blackrulon said...

According to the time sheets of the Attorney Generals office and the entries recreated by John Swallow he was a tireless worker for the state of Utah. On some days, between the two submitted records, he put in 24 hour work days.

Dan S. said...

Doesn't make me wonder at all. Swallow would still be happily in office if not for the relentless investigative reporting by the SL City Weekly and SL Tribune. The Envision Ogden crimes were worse in some ways, though smaller in terms of the total dollars involved. The Standard-Examiner's reporting was barely enough (with additional pressure from Rep. Hansen) to motivate state authorities to open a token investigation, but not nearly enough to convince prosecutors (or the Ogden City Council) to stick their necks out politically and actually hold anyone accountable.

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