SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, said he would have fired John Swallow by now. Utah’s highest ranking Republican called the allegations of bribery against Swallow a “black cloud” and said if the AG was working for him, Swallow would have been out of office by now.
“I can tell you from my own viewpoint, I’m increasingly alarmed at the stuff that’s bubbling out,” Herbert said. “What I consider ethical challenges, ethical violations I can only say if he worked for me before with all this coming up, he wouldn’t be working for me today.”
Professor Tim Chambless at the Hinckley Institute of Politics said Swallow faces two kinds of pressure regarding these allegations.
“The Governor is applying the greatest amount of political pressure upon John Swallow that he’s had in the last year,” he said. “It’s political pressure. John Swallow is also under great legal pressure, but he also is in the position to remain in the job.”
Chambless said it’s tough to get many answers from Swallow because he’s always played the political game of MIA. So it’s no surprise he’s missing in action at a critical time when the public wants answers.
“He was almost nowhere to be found, missing in action, during the 2012 campaign for Attorney General, and it’s difficult to find him today,” he said.
Herbert also voiced frustration with The Department of Justice. He said their investigation has taken far too long. He’s also calling on the legislature to make a decision about impeachment.
“This is an unprecedented, potentially historical event,” he said. “It is their Constitutional responsibility to do an impeachment investigation, and it looks like they’re doing that, and I applaud their efforts.”
Chambless said Swallow has limited options when it comes to his political career.
“About the only solution he’s got now is to make essentially a checkered Richard Nixon speech on statewide television to see if that way he can rescue his political life and his political career,” he said.
Swallow Spokesman Paul Murphy sent Fox 13 a statement from the Attorney General:
“I have admired the Governor for speaking out that due process should be followed, and I am saddened he has grown impatient with the process. What happened to me could happen to anybody, and I still believe we should put our faith in fairness, facts and evidence rather than allegations, rumors and speculation shared through the media.”