Is the John Swallow Investigation Worth the Cost?

The House investigation into Attorney General John Swallow could cost upwards of $2 million. Our readers and insiders weigh in on whether the cost is worth it.

Selected anonymous comments:

The only way this money is well spent is if this investigation finds something that the other 5 investigations do not. How many investigations does it take?

Let the Feds and the local DAs complete their investigations. Why spend $2 million to get out ahead of law enforcement? I suspect the motivation is to spare more public embarrassment for the State / Republican Party. Spend that money on education or transportation or economic development instead!

Clear him or condemn him, but get him out of the news. If he’s innocent perhaps we should bill his accussors, if he’s guilty it’s a small price to pay for clean government.

I would rather see this money used elsewhere but the hard and opportunity costs of allowing Swallow to stay AG are higher. My preference is to see him go away quietly.

How many public organizations need to be doing the same thing? As is the Legislature really qualified to do an investigation?

Unfortunately, the high cost of repudiating unethical scum from amongst our state leadership necessitates the high cost.

The House investigation will likely trip over the other existing investigations, uncover nothing new and is really a political CYA maneuver. Nonetheless, it is understandable why it has come about. The better approach would have been to wait for the results of the other investigations and then initiate impeachment proceedings, if warranted.

Of course the money would be better spent elsewhere. That’s why John Swallow should resign.

But I must say I don’t understand why he doesn’t resign, even if he is innocent, so state government can get on with its real business. Sometimes you have to leave a job for the wrong reasons.

Can you put a price on public trust?

This is an unnecessary extra step that the legislature has put in place to avoid an impeachment hearing, hopefully the work and associated costs will reduce the costs of an impeachment hearing when and if it comes to that. Much of this work appears to be duplicating the investigations that are on going and have the potential of negatively impacting those investigations. This is a mess that could easily be resolved and save the taxpayers the money it will cost if the Attorney General could see the problems he would resolve if he were to simply resign.

Are we going to discuss the finances of any investigation? If people in the public trust commit wrongdoing, then we need to discover it and apply the appropriate remedy. If every investigation and every trial is judged simply on the cost factor, then a lot of crooks and other criminals will go free simply because it’s costly to have a trial. Or is the appropriate response in this particular case to fire someone because of alleged abuses? Isn’t that one of the important functions of government to ferret out wrongdoing?

As the outcome is predetermined that Swallow has some “ethical” problems he has done nothing to warrant his removal from office then the expenditure of that vast sum is a total waste. Unless, of course, you need it to appear to be “looking after the state for the citizens.” – NOPE, no cynicism here…

The Utah Legislature wasting money on a “message” statement. I am shocked.

It will be less than 1% of the surplus that will soon show up, the question should be is it better spent in the investigation or the alternative usually funded with the surplus. Better to hire some lawyers than ship the funds to finance the federal deficit.

The money would be better spent elsewhere but if it’s the only way to rid us of this unethical, egomaniacal dork, so be it. He’s not going resign on his own so let’s give him a $2 mil shove.

Since the 5-4 will rule that he’s no more crooked than any other Republican, it feels like a huge waste of time and money.

Any expense is on Swallow’s head. His failure to do the right thing and resign has forced the legislature’s hand. Cost cannot be the factor in deciding to investigate.

The money would be better spent elsewhere, but it’s important that this investigation move forward. It would be better if Swallow would resign and save $2 million in taxpayer dollars. But that’s just not going to happen.

I would have rather said “necessary” instead of “worth it.” It is necessary because Swallow refuses to resign, and because the other investigations are, of necessity, not public.

Are you kidding???? Spend 5 minutes in the Education or Social Services Committee (or others!) This stinks to the core.

Well, it’s worth it now that the unethical behavior has been done, but it’s not worth having him in office in the first place.

Elections and ensuring public trust are two things that I have a hard time putting a price tag on.

Justice isn’t cheap.

The House has no moral authority to investigate and condemn behavior they themselves engage in.

The public trust and oversight is worth the cost. I wish Swallow would just resign.

You cannot put a price on public trust. Anybody who complains about this does not care about good, ethical government.

It is an unfortunate but necessary expenditure. It is worth it to ensure Utahns can have confidence in the top law enforcement officer in the state, but it is clear the money would also be better spent on something productive. Unfortunately, the current AG’s conduct has made spending this money a necessity. He should perform one final act of public service and resign.

The money would be better spent elsewhere BUT since Swallow won’t resign the state has no choice but to move forward.

Respondents include – 

Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O’Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Results from the Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah every Monday.