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Ex-A.G. John Swallow wants hearing to challenge evidence against him

FILE: Former Utah Attorney General argued in court papers Thursday against the Federal Election Commission adding him as a defendant in its civil lawsuit against embattled St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.
FILE: Former Utah Attorney General argued in court papers Thursday against the Federal Election Commission adding him as a defendant in its civil lawsuit against embattled St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow wants to challenge the evidence prosecutors say they have against him at a hearing.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office revealed some its evidence in response to Swallow's motion to dismiss the multiple felony and misdemeanor public corruption charges he faces.

In a court filing Thursday, defense lawyer Scott Williams called the document "exceedingly self-serving and counterintuitive," noting it relies on affidavits from prosecutors and investigators.

"It is also extremely incomplete, and lacks foundation and other evidence that the defense believes is readily available, and which may impeach the claims made in the affidavits," he wrote.

Williams' motion seeks status conference for a 3rd District judge to consider holding an evidentiary hearing.

"The state’s position relies on the testimony of witnesses the credibility and reliability of whom the defense has significant basis to call into question," Williams wrote.

In addition, he said the judge might have to consider whether the prosecutors should be disqualified because they have presented affidavits as witnesses, and may be subject to being called to testify and cross-examined by the defense.

Swallow also has hired a special investigator to review the state's assertions and the circumstances of its investigation, according to the court filing.

In May, Swallow asked the judge to throw out the charges against him, claiming investigators wrongfully seized protected emails between him and his former attorney.

Prosecutors contend that neither they nor investigators know the contents of the communications, and none of that information would be used against Swallow.

Swallow faces 11 felonies and two misdemeanors, including racketeering, bribery, evidence tampering, misuse of public money and falsifying government records. He pleaded not guilty.

A hearing on his motion to dismiss the charges is scheduled for July 13.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

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