- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes was sworn in as the state’s top law enforcement officer Monday, more than a year after his predecessor resigned amid allegations of wrongdoing.

Reyes says he’s spent the last year restoring public trust and doing what’s right under the law rather than politically convenient.

“A year ago, we were faced with serious distrust by the public in our office, a demoralized workforce, dissatisfied clients,” Reyes said, adding that his office was tasked with handling important cases as well as internal and external investigations.

Reyes, a Republican, said he’s been guided by his parents’ example, as well as the lessons from Filipino, Spanish, Japanese and Hawaiian ancestors.

“I am energized every day by what I know we can accomplish for the state and its citizens,” he said.

The inauguration ceremony featured Filipino and Hawaiian songs played by his father, Buddy Reyes, a musician who the attorney general says toured with Bob Hope in the Philippines before he fled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The inaugural ceremony also featured a Spanish guitarist, Buddhist and Pacific Islander drummers and a children’s choir.

Reyes was sworn in as interim attorney general in late 2013, after Republican John Swallow resigned amid multiple investigations and accusations he traded favors with businessmen and violated state election laws.

Swallow and his predecessor Mark Shurtleff are now facing multiple felony charges, including bribery, evidence tampering and obstructing justice. They are accused of accepting money and gifts such as California beach vacations and the use of luxury boats and homes.

Both have denied any wrongdoing.

After his appointment, Reyes won a special election to serve the last two years of Swallow’s term. He has said he’ll run again in 2016.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1ytkiFp) that the ceremony hit a minor glitch as Reyes took the oath and his wife, Saysha Reyes, noticed midway through that he’d placed the his wrong hand on the Bible.

Reyes switched hands, and Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee restarted the oath.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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