A poll released Monday shows a majority of voters favor initiating the impeachment process against embattled Attorney General John Swallow.
The poll, conducted by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, shows approximately 72 percent of the voters polled on the Swallow controversy say the Legislature needs to initiate the impeachment process.
The poll comes ahead of a key step in the review process. The House Republican caucus is expected to bring up the topic today at a three-hour caucus. The House is charged with fact-finding in any potential impeachment process, in accordance with state guidelines, while the Senate is charged with the decision-making responsibility on any findings.
House Democrats have already gone on record saying the Legislature needs to pursue action against Swallow.
Besides the possibility of impeachment, the poll's findings also suggest 79 percent of those queried think he should resign.
Not everyone is rushing to judgment, however. Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, expressed disdain for the poll.
"If we can't do what we believe is right here (once we've considered the appropriate information) without looking over our shoulder for political cover, we ought to be impeached," Nielson said. Nielson said he has not reached a conclusion on the matter.
Still other Top of Utah representatives, such as Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, and Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, want to see the investigation results before pushing for possible action.
Rep. Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace, has publicly said he has no confidence an investigation into Swallow's activities will be done in a timely fashion.
Elected in November 2012, Swallow has been linked to an attempt to quash a federal investigation by an indicted businessman, has been charged with improperly disclosing campaign contributions and most recently has been linked with former AG Mark Shurtleff in dealings with a convicted businessman in California and an alleged offer of $2 million by Shurtleff to take down a website criticizing a man accused of disappearing with his investment.
In the meantime, a spokesman for the AG's office insists Swallow has no plans to step aside or resign and insists Swallow has done nothing wrong.
Quin Monson, associate professor of political science at BYU, said the goal of releasing the poll results is not to post partisan opinions, but to share academic research.