SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's embattled Attorney General John Swallow says he has nothing to hide and is pushing back after the governor said Tuesday that he'd fire Swallow.
"The reality is, I don't work for him," Swallow said Wednesday morning. "And I'm an elected official."
Swallow gave a wide-ranging 23-minute interview to KSL Radio's "Doug Wright Show," where Swallow said he's being tried in the media and will be exonerated when all investigations of him are complete.
"I'm happy to let them investigate me. I have opened everything up," Swallow said. "I have nothing to hide."
Swallow has been inundated with allegations of impropriety since shortly after he assumed office in January. He's the subject of a federal investigation after indicted Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson accused him of arranging to derail a Federal Trade Commission probe by bribing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Swallow is also the target of complaints filed at the Utah State Bar Association. One complaint alleges that Swallow violated attorney-client privilege during conversations with a business owner cited for breaking telemarketing laws. The other alleges general violations of ethical standards required of attorneys.
Swallow, a Republican, has denied any wrongdoing in any of the cases.
On Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters that he's alarmed about allegations of ethical violations by Swallow. Herbert, a fellow Republican, said he would have fired Swallow if he worked for him.
"I'm increasingly alarmed with the stuff that's bubbling out, the stuff that is ethical challenges, ethical violations," Herbert said. "I can only say if he worked with me before with all that is coming out, he wouldn't be working for me today."
Herbert stopped short of calling on Swallow to resign, something two Republican lawmakers have done publically.
During his radio interview Wednesday, Swallow repeated his assertions of innocence and reiterated that he will not step down.
"It takes a lot of courage to stand strong in the face of fire, knowing your convictions and knowing what you did and didn't do," he said.
Swallow said that when the investigations are complete, his name will be cleared and people will be glad he stayed in office.
"I'm convinced that when this is done, people will look at what's happened and say, 'My goodness, he didn't do those things and we're glad he stayed with us. And we're glad that the person we elected to lead the attorney general's office is still in office, still fighting crime," Swallow said.
He said he shares Herbert's frustration that the investigations are taking so long, but wants them to be through.
"I want this to be done because I know it will exonerate me," he said.
Republicans in the Utah House of Representatives are dedicating a meeting next Wednesday to the discussion of possible impeachment proceedings against Swallow.
Swallow said none of the allegations made against him rise to the level of impeachment and suggested the discussions about impeachment and calls for resignation are politically motivated.
"I'm not about to just walk away because of pressure," he said. "I just was not built that way. I learned on the farm that you just don't back off when things get tough."