This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
If you pay a private citizen money to use their influence to get the government to do something, that's lobbying. However, if you pay a government official to do something, that's bribery.
Utah's newly inaugurated Attorney General John Swallow is accused of facilitating (lobbying) a failed attempt to bribe a U.S. senator while Swallow was a public servant. Regardless, he was paid a hefty "consulting fee" while he was the previous attorney general's top dog.
Swallow says the fee that was paid to his lobby firm (which never registered any lobbyists) was to get a cement factory in Las Vegas.
He's wearing two hats at the same time and he definitely looks silly (and suspiciously criminal). How can you serve "without fear or favor" with one hand when your other hand is weighed down with donations to your lobby?
Utah needs stricter laws about what its employees and officials may do privately. Our attorney general should be above suspicion; otherwise, his credibility and ability to represent the people of Utah in court is damaged. For the good of the state, Swallow should resign.
Salt Lake City