SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Utah’s newly elected Attorney General wants an investigation of alleged wrongdoing of himself.
The allegations against John Swallow were made Friday by St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.
Johnson is facing federal charges for bank fraud and money laundering. Friday, an expected plea bargain fell through and Johnson made public his accusations of Swallow.
Johnson alleges Swallow helped broker a deal in 2010 to help Johnson get out from a federal investigation.
Democrats want the U.S. Attorney to investigate.
“We don't know what happened but these are very, very serious allegations,” says Democratic party Chairman Jim Debakis. “And there's a lot of documentation.”
Specifically, Johnson claimed he paid Swallow nearly a quarter of a million dollars to persuade U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stop the federal investigation. It's an allegation Reid's office denies.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith lost the attorney general race to Swallow. Smith says he knew about the allegations but didn't want to make it a campaign issue.
But Smith claims Swallow is already being investigated by the FBI.
“I've had individuals tell me that they've been interviewed as part of an ongoing investigation,” says Smith.
And yet another ethics group wants Swallow investigated by the Utah Bar Association.
“(To see) whether he has done anything that violates the bar associations code of responsibility and whether any of that would require he be reprimanded or disbarred,” says Josh Kanter of the Alliance For A Better Utah.
Late Monday afternoon, Swallow issued a statement urging the U.S. Attorney to investigate.
He wrote: "I deny I have ever participated in a scheme to bribe a member of Congress. I expect no special treatment. I do not hold myself or anyone else above the law. I urge your office to look into these allegations."
The U.S. Attorney's Office had no comment. They would neither confirm nor deny anything is even taking place.
Meanwhile, Johnson fired back Monday afternoon.
In a statement prepared by his attorney’s office, Johnson claimed that he “relied on assurances from John Swallow, a trusted friend and public official that a monetary arrangement could alleviate continued government action. Any assertions by the newly elected Utah Attorney General that he is unaware of or was not involved in the situation are untrue.”