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The Honorable Rebecca D. Lockhart Speaker, Utah House of Representatives 350 North State, Suite 350 P.O. Box 145030 Salt Lake City, Utah 84114 Dear Speaker Lockhart, Though we are concerned about the redundancy of investigations and costs to Utah’s taxpayers, the Alliance for a Better UTAH is pleased to see the Utah Legislature participating in the myriad investigations into Attorney General Swallow’s actions. Utah deserves an Attorney General and an Attorney General’s office that is free of rumor and scandal, and Mr. Swallow deserves a full hearing regarding the accusations made against him. Nevertheless, the manner in which your office selected the nine members of the House Committee to investigate the charges against Mr. Swallow was unnecessarily shrouded in secrecy and led to an immediate scandal regarding the conflict of interest in the matter impacting the proposed Committee Chair, Rep. Lowry Snow. We recognize that conflicts of interest are likely to exist in a small state like Utah, particularly with a part-time legislature. Our concern, therefore, is not that conflicts of interest exist, but, rather, that there does not exist a transparent process for determining 1) whether or not conflicts of interest exist, and 2) whether or not those conflicts are relevant to the case at hand. The after-the-fact disclosure of Rep. Snow’s conflict and his subsequent dismissal as Committee Chair is a perfect example of what happens when this sort of process is not followed. As you well know, the highly-qualified Snow would likely have otherwise been a very competent chairperson. A full and transparent vetting process could have avoided the further embarrassment of his being named and then dismissed as Committee Chair. In the interest of transparency and the public’s trust in the House’s investigation into Attorney General Swallow, we ask that you provide more information about the vetting process used to select Committee members. For example, 1. What criteria was used to select members of the committee? 2. After selecting members, what process was used to vet them for potential conflicts of interest? 3. Who was involved in selecting members for the committee? 4. What sort of notice was given to committee members before they were asked to serve?

PO  Box  521847  •  Salt  Lake  City,  UT  84152  •  801.557.1532  •  betterutah.org  

 

We appreciate your willingness to consider these questions and hope you will take the time to respond to them. Your leadership is a crucial element for restoring the public’s trust in our elected leaders. Sincerely,

Maryann Martindale Executive Director Alliance for a Better UTAH

PO  Box  521847  •  Salt  Lake  City,  UT  84152  •  801.557.1532  •  betterutah.org