Home » News
Home » News

New subpoena zeroes in on Swallow-Johnson money ties

Published October 5, 2013 10:00 pm

Bipartisan House panel to meet Tuesday for update on probe.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah House committee investigating Attorney General John Swallow has issued its third subpoena for documents as part of its ongoing probe, this one seeking material on the Republican officeholder's role in a cement project that netted him $23,500.

The subpoena was issued to Softwise Inc. and Todd Rawle, the company's manager and son of the late Richard Rawle, who built the Provo-based Check City payday-loan empire. It demands Swallow's correspondence from a Softwise email account to Richard Rawle and several other individuals.

Richard Rawle brought Swallow — then Utah's chief deputy attorney general — into Chaparral Limestone & Cement Co. when Rawle was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Rawle died in December 2012.

Swallow also connected Rawle with Jeremy Johnson, owner of I Works. Johnson and his partner, Scott Leavitt, paid Rawle $250,000 to help fight a federal investigation into Johnson's business. Swallow and Rawle said it was for lobbying; Johnson, who faces an 86-count federal indictment, has said it was to bribe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Swallow corresponded with Johnson through an email account from Softwise, a company Swallow was registered to lobby on behalf of — along with several other of Rawle's interests — until he discontinued his lobbyist registration several months after joining the attorney general's office.

Rawle paid Swallow $23,500, which they said was for Swallow's consulting work on the Chaparral project. The money came from Johnson's payment, although Swallow said he later returned the money and asked to be paid from another account.

Specifically, the subpoena demands correspondence from Swallow, Richard Rawle or any other Softwise employee to Johnson; Tim Rupli and Jay Brown, a lobbyist and attorney Rawle hired on Johnson's behalf; Swallow campaign aide Jason Powers; and partners in the cement deal.

It also seeks emails to and from Tim Lawson, a confidant of Swallow's Republican predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, and electronic correspondence with Marc Sessions Jenson, a convict who has accused Swallow and Shurtleff of extorting gifts from him

The bipartisan House investigative committee — with five Republicans and four Democrats — had previously issued two subpoenas covering similar topics, one to Swallow and one to the attorney general's office. They are required to respond to the demands by Friday.

The panel has scheduled its third meeting for Tuesday morning, when it is expected to receive an update from the committee's special counsel and investigators.

Some lawmakers have questioned the necessity of the House probe — which could lay the groundwork for impeachment proceedings — in the wake of the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section not to file charges against Swallow or Shurtleff.

Two county attorneys continue to work with the FBI to determine if Swallow broke any state laws. In addition, the lieutenant governor's office has issued subpoenas as part of an investigation into whether the Republican attorney general violated campaign-disclosure laws. And two misconduct complaints have been filed with the Utah State Bar.

Swallow, who has been embroiled in the scandal virtually since taking office in January, has denied wrongdoing.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke






Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus