Special counsel Steve Reich told a special Utah House committee Thursday Swallow -- a Republican who was elected in November 2012 and took office in January -- went on "a months-long spree" of evidence destruction and document fabrication trying to hide his involvement with an indicted businessman. He announced his resignation in November.
Reich said Swallow panicked after a 2012 meeting at a doughnut shop with Jeremy Johnson -- who was charged in 2011 with criminal mail fraud in the operation of Johnson's online marketing company. He said Johnson told Swallow at the meeting Swallow might be a target of federal investigators, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The investigator -- reporting to the House committee after a five-month investigation -- said Swallow fabricated post-dated invoices and placed false entries in a time-management journal to create a deceptive record of work performed in 2010 and 2011, deleted thousands of personal emails and calendar entries, and directed a technician in the attorney general's office to erase hard drives on his official computer and remove a hard drive from his personal computer.
Reich said investigators believe Swallow feared damage to his campaign to succeed Republican Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who left office in January.
"And it was this panic that led him down a path of evidence elimination and evidence fabrication," Reich said.
"There are innocent explanations that are just as plausible as those put forth by Reich," said Swallow's attorney, Rod Snow. "But the committee does not want to hear or believe that."
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