Utah senator proposes AG selection by appointment, not vote

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SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah senator says it’s time to change the way the state’s attorney general is selected.

Right now, the state’s attorney general is elected into office by Utah voters, but Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, says the position should be a political appointment instead.

Weiler says the recent controversy surrounding current Attorney General John Swallow made him reconsider the selection process. He says it would close a loophole that allowed Swallow to conduct undisclosed consulting work outside the AG’s Office.

“Right now, our state constitution requires our attorney general to be elected and that’s fine, but with some of the recent stories that have been in the news, I’ve taken an interest. Obviously we know the president of the United States gets to pick his own attorney general and there’s seven other states that appoint their own attorney generals,” Weiler said.

His proposal would apply to all branches of state government, not just the AG’s Office.

Weiler says he’ll propose the change in the next legislative session.