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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

Search warrant targets former Utah A.G. John Swallow's campaign manager

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

Published: Wed, June 4 6:39 p.m. MDT

 A new search warrant involving former Attorney General John Swallow's campaign manager was unsealed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

A new search warrant involving former Attorney General John Swallow's campaign manager was unsealed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

(Matt Gade, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new search warrant involving former Attorney General John Swallow's campaign manager was unsealed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

The warrant issued Feb. 12 was served on Google Inc. for the Gmail account of Jessica Fawson dating from Oct. 15, 2008, to the present. Fawson, who also worked on one of former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's campaigns, managed Swallow's campaign from December 2011 to July or August 2012, according to an affidavit supporting the search warrant.

An investigator for the Utah House Special Investigative Committee interviewed Fawson last year. Parts of the interview are included in the affidavit.

Fawson told the House investigator that she was the operational leader of Swallow's fundraising activities who wrote emails, worked on campaign events and was someone who "made the campaign."

She also said that Swallow was the primary fundraiser and handled a lot of fundraising activities himself.

The House committee alleges Swallow's campaign devised a strategy to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions he received from the payday loan industry. Swallow had relationships with several businessmen that benefited him personally, professionally and politically, according to the report released in January.

Swallow has denied any wrongdoing.

The warrant made public Wednesday is another in series of warrants authorities have obtained in the ongoing criminal investigation of Swallow and Shurtleff.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, along with the FBI and Utah Department of Public Safety, started the probe into alleged wrongdoing in the attorney general's office about 18 months ago.

On Monday, the DPS and the FBI searched the Sandy homes of Swallow and Shurtleff. Agents also searched the home of Renae Cowley, who worked on both of their election campaigns.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy

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1. Doug10
Roosevelt, UT,
June 5, 2014

Swallow, Shurtleff and now Lee?

if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck........

2. 10CC
Bountiful, UT,
June 5, 2014

There's another aspect of the allegations that the D-News is avoiding: Shurtleff and/or Swallow instructing donors (specifically Jeremy Johnson) to direct money to Senator Mike Lee.

Maybe the D-News completely missed this, or it could be they're not quite sure how to proceed, since Mike Lee is a darling of Utah conservatives.

(This is a little like when the D-News was slow to report the Cliven Bundy remarks that did great damage to the conservative ideal of getting millions of acres of US owned land handed over to the states. Bundy's remarks were inflammatory, of course, but his religious background was a potential embarrassment... and the D-News balked while they figured out how to handle the story.)

3. Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT,
June 5, 2014

Jeremy Johnson should be getting consideration of reduced charged for this, these arrogant men who ran the law and were above the law, manipulating the elections and the people of Utah, should have a special cell near the criminals like themselves, who they once locked away.

Lee's walk in closet of skeletons, needs to be remodeled again.

4. VST
Bountiful, UT,
June 5, 2014

What does this story have to do with Senator Mike Lee?

5. stevo123
slc, ut,
June 5, 2014

Mike Lee getting campaign funds that were not quite legal? This case just keeps on getting more interesting!