“Fix It Man” Tim Lawson, under advice from his attorney, stopped speaking to the media several months ago after being visited by FBI agents investigating Attorney General John Swallow, but is now speaking again and has announced that he’s formally requested to be the new lieutenant governor of Utah.
Editor’s note: This is Part 8 of The Swallow Files, a series of online and print stories examining notes, observations and overlooked elements of the ongoing Swallow scandal, as the Legislature begins its lengthy investigation into the attorney general’s fitness as a public servant. Also see parts 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; Part 7 was a look at the various special interests that have relied on Lawson to gain access to Utah’s attorneys general.
In May 2013, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Tim Lawson had been approached by federal investigators investigating allegations of corruption having to do with Attorney General John Swallow. Lawson, for a time, declined to speak with the media, but recently called City Weekly to say he was free to speak openly to the press once again.
Lawson’s announcement seems to coincide with recent news that the U.S. Department of Justice has declined to file charges against Attorney General John Swallow or former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Lawson says that he was never the target of the FBI’s inquiries but that they were seeking him out as a witness.
“I told them straight up, Shurtleff has never done anything illegal or unethical in my presence, ever. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask the question,” Lawson says.
Lawson says there was never any real worry that the FBI was targeting him.
“The Attorneys General aren’t going to say I’ve done anything wrong, because I haven’t,” Lawson says.
As for the investigation, he says the FBI asked the same question City Weekly and others have asked regarding Lawson’s close connections to individuals in power, like the current and former attorneys general: “Why you?”
Lawson says his aggressive, straight-shooting ways have earned him a reputation that’s translated into influence among powerful people.
“I deal with hundreds and hundreds of people all over the country and even other parts of the world,” Lawson says. “I know a lot of people and have access to lots of people. Generally, when I call people, they call me back out of respect. If it’s not out of respect or interest, then it’s out of fear. I got the title ‘citizen from hell’ long before I even met Shurtleff.”
As for his current plans, Lawson says, he plans on filing a $50 million lawsuit against the state for misappropriating federal funds through the education system because schools aren’t providing adequate gluten-free lunch options to schoolchildren.
“Not only are these kids being denied meals they are lawfully entitled to, they are being discriminated against! They are being malnourished,” Lawson says.
Lawson also says he’s formally told the Utah Governor’s Office he should be considered to be appointed to the office recently vacated by Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who announced he’s stepping down from the position, because ... well, why not?
“Everyone has talked about how I’m the spawn of Satan or the meanest son-of-a-bitch this side of hell, but there is no question I’d be a huge advocate for the state and the people,” Lawson says. “I’m not the politically correct choice, but I’m definitely a very powerful individual in Utah and could do a lot to protect the citizens here.”