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Interim Attorney General takes office in Utah

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December 4, 2013

Interim Utah Attorney General Brian Tarbet

By Greg Janetka

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Yesterday was Brian Tarbet's first day on the job as interim Attorney General of Utah. A career military man who has served as General Counsel within the attorney general's office since January of this year, Tarbet ascended to the top post following John Swallow's resignation. While not officially charged with any wrongdoing, investigations continue against Swallow, who has continually proclaimed his innocence.[1]

Gov. Gary Herbert (R) will appoint a new permanent attorney general from a list of three choices given to him by the Republican State Central Committee. They are scheduled to meet December 14. Whoever is named to the post will have to run for election in 2014 to serve out the remaining two years of Swallow's term.[2] The deadline to file for attorney general is this Friday. As of yet, Tarbet has not applied to stay on, but also has not ruled it out.

Thus far five Republicans have filed:[3]

  • Bret Rawson - Fraternal Order of Police attorney
  • Sean Reyes - Swallow's 2012 primary election opponent
  • Brent Ward - federal prosecutor Brent Ward
  • Michael Wilkins - former Utah Supreme Court Justice
  • Scott Burns - former Iron County Attorney
  • Michelle Mumford - the assistant dean of admissions at the BYU law school

In his last day in office Swallow released the following statement:[4]

I want to thank the people of Utah for allowing me to serve these past four years with the Attorney General’s Office. I am proud of the work being done by our attorneys, investigators and staff members and I am confident they will continue to fight to protect our children, our state and our resources.

By choosing to wait until December 3 at 12:01 AM to effectively resign, rather than actually leaving office on November 21 when he announced he would be resigning, Swallow became eligible for a $12,000 year pension starting when he turns 65.[5] Swallow said money had nothing to do with the timing of his resignation.

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