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‘I’m disappointed I had to file,’ says former Utah Attorney General suing the state

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SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Embattled former Utah Attorney General John Swallow told News4Utah he’s “disappointed” he had to file a lawsuit to get the state to reimburse him for court costs and attorneys’ fees following his acquittal on nine public corruption charges. 

Citing a Utah statute, Swallow’s eight-page lawsuit claims the state owes him nearly $1.6 million in court costs, after charges of racketeering, bribery and others were dropped in 2017. The lawsuit alleges Swallow requested the money be paid back in May, but a judge denied that request. 

The statute Swallow cited states if a public officer is acquitted of charges leveled against them, “that officer or employee shall be entitled to recover from the public entity reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.” 

Swallow said he wants the state to follow the law. 

“I’m disappointed that taxpayers are going to have to pay more because the state won’t sit down and look at the law,” Swallow told News4Utah Wednesday morning. 

The former Utah Attorney General now has his own firm that helps companies and governmental figures defend themselves against “false accusations,” a subject in which Swallow said he has more than his fair share of experience. 

Swallow was arrested in 2014 after allegations that he conspired with others to extort money and favors from a wealthy businessman. After a lengthy court process, Swallow had nine of the public corruption charges dropped in 2017. 

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, involved in the prosecution, said Wednesday Swallow deserves due process. He maintains the state and the D.A.’s office followed the law during the investigation, though Swallow maintains the whole situation was politically motivated.

“We had probable cause,” Gill told News4Utah Wednesday. “We filed the charges, we let the process take its course.”

Gill announced his plan to run for re-election just one day after Swallow filed his lawsuit. He said the timing of the filing was not planned.  

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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