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2 county attorneys to investigate Walker

SHARE 2 county attorneys to investigate Walker

The Utah Attorney General's Office Thursday announced two county attorneys will investigate Rep. Mark Walker, R-Sandy, on possible criminal charges in connection with allegations he offered a job to his primary opponent in the state treasurer's race.

Walker was defeated in Tuesday's GOP primary by chief deputy state treasurer Richard Ellis, making an investigation into a possible civil violation in connection with the allegations moot, since the penalty is removal from office.

A criminal violation is a class B misdemeanor.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican, and Weber County Attorney Mark DeCaria, a Democrat, were appointed by the Attorney General's Office to conduct the investigation.

A press release from the Attorney General's Office said the investigation is viewed as essential to generate an objective determination of the facts for the benefit of the voters and other members of the public and to ensure the integrity of the election process.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, had endorsed Walker in the hotly contested race. Ellis made the allegations against Walker in an elections complaint to Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.

Herbert, as the state's chief elections officer, has the responsibility to determine if such allegations should be turned over to the attorney general for further investigation. He waited until the polls closed Tuesday to make the referral.