- Associated Press - Saturday, January 16, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Federal Election Commission is trying pile on embattled former Utah Attorney General John Swallow’s legal troubles by adding him to a civil lawsuit, his attorney said in a new court filing.

Defense attorney Scott Williams argued in a motion filed this week for a federal judge to keep litigation against Swallow separate from businessman Jeremy Johnson, the current defendant. The FEC is suing Johnson over donations to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and others that were made allegedly to skirt federal campaign limits. The commission alleges Swallow helped Johnson improperly donate money to make a fraud investigation go away.

Williams said his client has “been besieged by assaults from many angles,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1SUYw64 ).

“Now, the FEC desires to heap on, triggering another significant burden of time, financial resources, and distraction from his efforts to prove his innocence in the criminal case,” Williams wrote in the motion filed Thursday.

Williams goes on to ask that any civil litigation against Swallow be postponed until after his criminal case is resolved. Swallow is awaiting trial on 13 charges, including, including bribery and tampering with evidence. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, are both accused of accepting improper gifts from businessmen in trouble with regulators in a pay-to-play scheme. The gifts included luxury houseboats and beach vacations. Shurtleff has also denied any wrongdoing.

A judge canceled an April trial date last month and set a hearing on the status of the case instead.

Swallow resigned from office in December 2013 less than a year after being elected. He is currently working at a law firm.


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

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