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.