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Business & Economy

Investigative Committee Chair on Attorneys General Arrests: System Working

File: Utah State Legislature

The chair of the Legislature’s Special Investigative Committee says he is working on a bill to increase potential use of grand juries in investigations in the wake of the John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff arrests Tuesday. Republican Representative Jim Dunnigan of Taylorsville led the bi-partisan investigation after the US Department of Justice dropped the case. He says a number of potentially helpful parties simply did not respond to subpoenas from the committee.

“That’s something else that we’re looking at. Should the grand jury rules be modified? Because that’s certainly another avenue that had it been available to us, we could’ve used it,” says Dunnigan.

In announcing the arrests, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill praised the committee’s investigation and agreed with Dunnigan on grand jury powers.

"So we can say that these kinds of issues can be looked at in a more expeditious; more cost efficient manner,” says Gill.

Representative Dunnigan says for the most part the system is working as it should.

“It’s unfortunate certainly for Utah but I think the positive aspect is that something was done about it,” says Dunnigan.

He says it’s important to keep in mind the presumed innocence of the former attorneys general. Rep. Dunnigan says Governor Herbert has indicated he would favor minor changes to campaign finance legislation and those are things he’s been working on through the summer.

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