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A bill that could strip former Attorney General John Swallow of his state pension if he is convicted of a crime won unanimous support from the Utah House on Monday.

The bill would prevent any elected official or political appointee who is convicted of a crime from accruing retirement benefits after the date the law was broken, allowing it to apply retroactively.

"Can you imagine a scenario where someone suspected of criminal behavior would hold out in office until such a time their retirement benefits accrued?" said Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton. "Could you imagine letting the state spend money on an investigation … until such time you determine your retirement has been vested and then leave office?"

McCay didn't mention Swallow by name, but his description matches the circumstances surrounding Swallow's resignation from office.

Swallow was the subject of investigations by state and federal law enforcement, the Utah House and the Utah lieutenant governor's office when he announced he was stepping down, but he made his departure effective the day he became eligible to collect a state pension of about $12,000 a year once he reaches retirement age.

Swallow has been charged with 14 criminal counts, including a dozen felonies. His predesessor, three-term Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, is facing nine felony counts. Both men are accused of accepting gifts, receiving and soliciting bribes, evidence tampering and obstructing justice.

Both have proclaimed their innocence.

Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, who was defeated in his re-election bid because of a barrage of attacks from a shadowy dark money group tied to Swallow and fueled by payday lenders, supported the bill.

"Without further comment, I just want to say: I really love this bill," said Daw, who won the seat back last year.

Twitter: @RobertGehrke