Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, thinks allegations have reached the point where Attorney General John Swallow can no longer effectively fill his office.
"The office of Attorney General is bigger than any one person. If he (Swallow) did decide to resign, I don't think people would be unhappy," Weiler said of issues facing the Utah AG.
As a legal issue, Weiler doesn't believe any allegations pending against the attorney general will result in criminal charges. He said Swallow's political standing is another matter.
"He's a dead man walking. I don't think he's re-electable, and he's lost any mandate. Whatever he does at this point will be questioned. I think we've crossed the line where he can effectively carry out the last 3 1/2 years left on his term," Weiler said.
Swallow has faced a bevy of allegations since he was elected in November. They include a link to federally indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, who alleges Swallow set up a deal in 2010 for Johnson to pay money to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to potentially quash a federal investigation.
Last week, convicted fraudster Marc Jenson said he provided gifts to Swallow and former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in exchange for promises to help with his legal problems.
Jenson is serving a 10-year prison sentence for failing to pay back $4 million to investors.
Also last week, a former director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection filed a complaint against Swallow, claiming he violated attorney-client standards in conversations with a business owner cited for breaking telemarketing laws.
It was the second complaint against Swallow lodged this year with the state bar.
However, not all Top of Utah lawmakers think Swallow has crossed the point of no return.
Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, says Swallow is innocent until proven guilty and thinks judgment should be held until the charges are properly vetted.
Oda said it has been proven that one of those making charges against Swallow is a "slimebag," and it would be wrong to expect the AG to step aside without any solid evidence of wrongdoing.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, also said a rush to judgment would be a mistake but that the ongoing nature of issues from the AG's office is a distraction.
"Obviously, none of the headlines are good. It's one of those things that weighs on you. As the official process goes forward, I'm hoping there is some closure on it," he said.
Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, said it appears Swallow used poor judgment, but he supports ongoing investigations into the allegations.
"We'll know soon enough what course to take and whether Mr. Swallow will be forced to step aside or do so voluntarily. But that window of opportunity is closing," he said.
Paul Murphy, director of communications for the AG's office, said the allegations have not stopped the AG's office from moving forward.
"Attorney General John Swallow is in the office every day, making decisions and working with our attorneys and staff. We are convicting people, filing lawsuits, defending the state from lawsuits and going about the state's business."
Utah lawmakers are expected to meet in interim meetings today to chart the course for interim meetings the rest of this year and to lay the groundwork for the 2014 session, which starts in January.
Weiler, an attorney, has floated the idea of changing the state constitution in regard to the AG's office, potentially leaving the office to be filled by appointment.
He has worked to have lawmakers from other states weigh in on the subject as part of meetings today.
He said the state could handle the AG appointment the way it handles the appointment of judges. That process, he said, includes a bipartisan committee that sorts through potential candidates and forwards a list of the five best, leaving the governor to appoint one of those candidates, with the appointment subject to oversight by a Senate committee.
The latest round of allegations also comes just days before the Republican state convention, which is Saturday.