Governor Gary Herbert says he doesn't want to join what he calls the "rush to judgment" in the case of Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
At his monthly news conference on KUED, Governor Herbert said the state needs to wait for the results of an investigation into Swallow's alleged involvement in a bribery plot, which included a meeting with a man indicted for mail fraud at a donut shop in Orem. Swallow has asked for a federal investigation, but the U.S. Attorney for Utah hasn't said whether there's actually going to be one. If there was, the results would not be made public if no criminal charges are filed. And the governor said he wasn't familiar with the statement from Utah Republican Party Chair Tom Wright calling for ethics reform in state government.
"It's kind of easy just to sit on the sidelines and say, 'Well, I wouldn't have done that,'" Herbert told reporters. "And not having been in that situation, it's potentially disingenuous for people that sit on the sidelines and criticize activity. That being said, I expect that the attorney general himself wishes there had not been a meeting at Krispy Kremes."
Herbert says he likes the idea of an independent commission to investigate ethical violations by elected officials such as the governor or attorney general. And he wants to make campaign advertising more transparent, requiring disclosure of contributors to attack ads.