Former AG Shurtleff blasts ‘John Wayne-wannabe’ investigators

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the criminal investigation into former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff is in a "very fruitful period."

The Sandy-area homes of Swallow and Shurtleff were searched on Monday night by FBI agents and the Utah Department of Public Safety. Authorities refused to say what was taken.

Renae CowleyFOX 13 has learned a third warrant was served late Monday night at the home of ex-Swallow campaign staffer Renae Cowley. Her attorney, Jim Bradshaw, said she has been cooperating with the investigation.

"She has been given a grant of immunity," Bradshaw told FOX 13. "We fully anticipate her cooperation will continue."

In an interview on KSL Radio's "Doug Wright Show," Shurtleff cried as he described agents serving the warrant at his home and "terrifying" his teenage children.

"These John Wayne-wannabe, freakin' Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry tactics are absolutely unacceptable and unneeded," he said, claiming officers had weapons drawn on the children.

Shurtleff vowed he would be cleared.

"I will be cleared. There will be accountability and liability," he said of the officers whom he claimed "violated their oath of office" and went "overboard."

In a statement late Tuesday, the Utah Department of Public Safety defended its actions.

Read the DPS statement here:

Utah DPS statement

Swallow refused to answer the door at his home Monday night.

"No comment at the moment," his attorney, Rod Snow, said in an email to FOX 13 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told FOX 13 his joint Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill in an interview with FOX 13's Ben Winslowcriminal investigation with Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings continues. Gill refused to speak of what was seized from Swallow and Shurtleff's homes, nor would he say when -- or if -- charges would come soon.

"We are certainly examining all the evidence very critically and we are working through a very fruitful period of this investigation right now," he said.


  • Cartman

    I’m all for scumbags being brought to justice, but not at the expense of turning our society over to the Gestapo. Waving guns around was totally unacceptable.

  • duh

    They’re ALL John Wayne wannabes, the only problem for you shurtleff is that they don’t take orders from YOU anymore! Glad you’ve been able to feel the “terror” you’ve unleashed on so many innocent people during your reign of terror. They point loaded weapons at people’s innocent children EVERY day. They’re real HEROS aren’t they? Cowards

  • Finny Wiggen

    After listening to the full comments of both Mark Shurtleff and Sim Gill, it seems pretty clear that Shurtleff has the stronger and more likely accurate story.

    Sim Gill’s comments were cold, calculated, uncaring, and honestly, prickish.

    Can you imagine if your daughter was held at gun point in your own home, and you called Mr. Gill expecting to speak to a reasonable professional, and got a response of the type he gave publicly today! “Our officers acted appropriately…”

    k… I get that you think that but I am calling to tell you that is NOT the case… “I am not going to look into it…”

    Any respect I may have had for this man, is gone. I have no idea whether or not Shurtleff is guilty of anything, but after seeing his treatment by Gill and and his team, I would tend to believe he is. If he is guilty of something then by all means pursue charges, but do so professionally.

    This is not Russia! You don’t get to hold a gun on little girls and bully them!

  • Derek Conklin

    This is where we are as a society. I HATE no knock warrants (NKW), but I could *somewhat understand why police used them in cases where evidence might be destroyed (read: flushed) even though I feel even that is a copout and a shortcut for good old fashioned police work and observation.

    However, to violently invade the homes of men like Shurtleff and Swallow, who are not engaged in violent crime, not in the drug trade, with all the easily flushed evidence you have to move so fast to capture, shows us just how far the new police state have gone. This is white collar crime, people. Any evidence that needed destroying was assuredly done months ago. So just what was the threat that demanded an armed invasion? Did they truly think Shurtleff or Swallow would be hunkered down with an AR to violently resist? Did they expect to find them hunched over a computer deleting files as fast as they could?

    Really? What does this say about what we can expect from our ‘public servants’?

    I say it is high time NKW carried personal liablility for the issuing officer(s), the executing officers, and the signing Judge.

  • jewlzzz

    BOO HOOOOOOOO!! All you whiners would be the first screaming for police if you were being attacked or your daughter being raped. Why don’t you call shurtleff or swallow when you need help next A Holes! These two swine have cost us tax payers a fortune and I remember some of your names screaming for their heads and justice. Can’t have both ways. And shurtleff? Taking lessons on how to be a drama queen from your 17 year old?

    • Finny Wiggen

      So… I guess we are beyond the point where intelligent comments are made…
      Would I complain if my daughter was rapped, or I was attacked? What on Earth does that have to do with NKWs?

      Yes, I would expect justice if my daughter was rapped, or my home was invaded. And there is no doubt that our fine police community would provide it.

      Please do help me understand how you connect the two in your mind.

  • ATT: Mister Shurtleff..............

    Apologies on behalf of the citizens who thought you were a wonderful attorney general. Thank you for all you did for the people. Our hearts are with you !

  • jonathanwfink

    This matter is simple: We have one ambitious politician (Gill) going after formerly ambitious politicians (Shurtleff and Swallow) for possible wrongdoing. As an ambitious politician, of course Gill is going to use the full power of his office to prevail. If criminal charges result against either Shurtless or Swallow, Gill is a hero in the eyes of the public, As for decency, that left this discussion a long time ago. I hope it’s just not a case of here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.

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