Former Utah AGs Swallow, Shurtleff out of jail and facing corruption charges

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Utah attorneys general John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff have been arrested on corruption charges, the result of a two-year investigation.

Both Swallow and Shurtleff were arrested at their homes, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Former Utah AG John Swallow

Former Utah AG John Swallow

They were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

"We have filed what we think are appropriate and minimal charges," Gill said. "Certainly, I'm not going to go into details, we could have filed more."

Bail was set at $250,000 but Gill said they had agreed to allow the former attorneys general to be booked and released without posting bond.

Both men walked out of the jail before a throng of TV cameras.

"I absolutely maintain my innocence and this is just the process," said Swallow.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon at his lawyer's office, Shurtleff blasted the prosecution as "politically motivated" by Gill.

"He knows he can't prove these things beyond a reasonable doubt," Shurtleff said, insisting he would be cleared.

Swallow is charged with 13 counts: 

  • Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony;
  • Accepting a gift; a second-degree felony;
  • Receiving or soliciting a bribe, a second-degree felony;
  • False statements, a second-degree felony;
  • Evidence tampering, a third-degree felony;
  • Misuse of public money, a third-degree felony;
  • Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony;

    Former Utah AG Mark Shurtleff

    Former Utah AG Mark Shurtleff

  • Falsification of a government record, a class B misdemeanor;
  • Failure to disclose a conflict of interest, a class B misdemeanor.

Shurtleff is charged with 10 counts:

  • Pattern of unlawful activity, a second degree felony;
  • Receiving or soliciting a bribe, a second-degree felony;
  • Accepting a gift, a second-degree felony;
  • Accepting employment that would impair judgment, a second-degree felony;
  • Witness tampering, a third-degree felony;
  • Evidence tampering, a third-degree felony;
  • Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

The men could be facing one to 15 years in prison for each of the felony charges, if convicted.

Swallow hired a high-profile criminal defense attorney to represent him in ongoing investigations. Stephen McCaughey confirmed to FOX 13 last week he had been retained to represent Swallow. Shurtleff is represented by Max Wheeler, who secured an acquittal for one of the defendants in the Olympic bribery trial.

Read the charges against John Swallow here:


The charges are the result of a criminal probe by the Salt Lake and Davis County attorneys. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to pursue a case against Swallow, but the FBI and the Utah Department of Public Safety worked with the county prosecutors.

The prosecutors recently ordered the FBI and DPS to serve search warrants on Swallow’s home, as well as that of his predecessor, Shurtleff.

Read the charges against Mark Shurtleff here:


Reports prepared by a House Special Investigative Committee and warrants reveal he is under investigation for allegations of official misconduct, bribery, obstruction of justice, evidence and witness tampering.

MORE: Get the complete details on allegations and the investigation here

In March a special committee set up to investigate Swallow finished its work and made public a massive report on alleged misdeeds.

Committee chairman Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, said he believed the investigation, which lasted months and cost millions of dollars, was “overall worthwhile.”

“I think if we had not done this, this type of regime or program would have continued on to the detriment of Utah,” he told reporters when it was released. “The attorney general’s office is the highest law enforcement office in the state and people have to feel like everyone is treated fairly and equally. There are no nods or no special favors given.”

Swallow resigned after another investigation into alleged misconduct.


  • not yours

    ITS ABOUT TIME!!!! Dont stop there, follow the money and book em all! Vote Vote Vote people of AMERICA! No encumbents, No encumbents!

  • Sterling

    With this continuing but JUST “circus” of the arrests and prosecution of John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, REMEMBER that in the beginning that NEVADA SENATOR HARRY REID was also DIRECTLY implicated in this circle of corruption than somehow he became invisible in this complete picture of both state and Federal corruption, directly implicating HARRY REID.
    The Feds shut the investigation down to protect Harry Reid who is as guilty, if not more than, either both Swallow and Shurtleff. While the FBI is at it and claim to investigate all Federal misdealings by government officials, then WHY are they not AT THIS VERY MOMENT going after president obama for TREASON ???

    Seems like another obama side show to take the heat off HIS treasonist abuse of both power and American public trust. If the FBI, and FEDERAL Police Agency must arrest both Swallow and Shurtleff, then OBAMA is the next official crimminal investigation of HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS with both Impeachment and in prisonment.

  • Scott

    I heard Mr. Gil say that they will be booked as any criminal. Any criminal with more than one FELONS
    In the state of Utah you will get a no bail. Why are they.

    • Hank Redd

      Why? Because its UTAH!
      These are the good boys. Special booking, they got to avoid the reporters waiting… And out on bail speedy fast. A regular person would have been in there all day.

  • Finny Wiggen

    Sim Gill needs to evaluate his priorities and his objectivity. Whether you agree with the charges or not, (the US Justice Department clearly does not) but even if you do, it is undeniable that Gill is driven by emotion and political ranker, rather than a desire to deal justly with these men.

    It is frankly scary that this type of politics / corruption (Chicago Style) are being practiced in Utah.

    It is difficult to take a man like Gill seriously, when after being told by the US Justice Department that these men committed no crimes, he goes on to grandstand, inviting the media, holding a gun on a 16 year old undressed girl, and now, arresting the men in front of their families.

    If this man is willing to go to such extremes with a public figure, I can only imagine how he treats his enemies who have no recourse in the media… SCARY!!

    • Finny Wiggen

      If he is indeed guilty, then by all means, he should be prosecuted. But not persecuted…
      He is clearly NOT being treated like everyone else. He is being treated FAR worse.

      • Hank Redd

        I couldn’t disagree more. How are they being treated far worse? Far worse then who/what? They are charged criminals (with felonies)! They are charged with abusing their position of public trust to enrich themselves and others. In addition, they attempted to delete/eradicate evidence, and tamper with witnesses. They have received the kid gloves! Many search warrants are conducted in the early morning (like 6am) by swat teams! They were also given the speedy lane once arrested, and were not held for processing. In fact, to my understanding they didn’t even post bond and are out and about. That is not ‘regular person’ treatment. If you were the subject of the same charges, your treatment would not mirror theirs. Not close.

        You really should stop with the kool-aid.

      • Finny Wiggen

        Kiddie gloves? Really?
        Holding a gun on a naked 16 year old girl, storming his home with a swat team, arresting a man in front of his children… all for a white collar crime… you call this “kiddie gloves?” You and I have a very different idea of how to deal with “kiddies.”

        Incidentally, white collar crimes are a very different thing than violent crimes. They are virtually always treated much differently (ie better) than these two men have been. Why is Mr. Gill treating them like hardened criminals? Only he knows.

    • Hank Redd

      Scary? If you actually took the time to read the article you would see it state that a bi-partisan (Both Dem and Repub) investigation found them guilty of the crimes, hence the criminal charges. Besides, isn’t government more effective at the local level? You should be grateful that corruption of being prosecuted, not crying about some democrat and republican doing their respective jobs. These guys appear to be very, very dirty.

      • Finny Wiggen

        Hanky my boy, I did read the article. And no, you are incorrect. The men were not “convicted” they were charged. While others were indeed involved in the investigation, the charges came solely from Sim Gill’s office.

        But I won’t hold your ignorance against you.

    • Trish Ramirez

      You couldn’t be more wrong.

      These men were in a position of trust, and clearly they violated it.

      Sim Gill is is well within his right to publicly lambast them and draw to them the attention befitting their positions as ex-public servants accused of corruption.


      I have been waiting for this for YEARS – I had thought Shurtleff was dirty for years and so did many MANY others.

      Swallow should have stepped down as soon as these allegations were brought forth rather than wasting years of taxpayer money and time and being ineffectual in his elected position because of it.

      This should be quite the side show as everything comes out – and trust me they have more than enough to nail these guys if they are proceeding in this manner.

      • Conservative American (Bob)

        I remember the Democrats being rather slow to judge Bill Clinton before all the evidence was in. Before we hang these two men from on oak tree perhaps we ought to hear the evidence against them.

      • Trish Ramirez

        What did Clinton do again, Bob, that was so offensive to you? Get a b l o w j o b and lie about it? These guys have been messing with public money. When Clinton was in office the economy was great, the budget balanced and life was good. Then we got another Bush in the White House and I don’t think anyone will ever be able to clean up the mess he made, dragging us into multiple wars based on bad intelligence (despite Daddy’s CIA ties), throwing money and lives away under the guise of vengeance when it was really all about oil and power. Getting American boys killed and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilians so Cheney and Bush’s companies could make some money rebuilding what they had destroyed?


        I’m sure you don’t care about any of that, though. I have a pretty good idea that your main concern is your investment portfolio and your dividends and tax rate.

        Who cares who lies and who dies to make that money, as long as that money’s being made.

        Good for you, Conservative American. Good. For. You.

      • Finny Wiggen

        Vitriolic much?
        This is why our nation does not believe in mob justice. Can you imagine how our dangerous “justice” would be, if it was the result of a focused anger, of the type you are expressing.

  • Stormin

    Surprise, surprise —- it definitely did not come as a surprise to most Utahans. Now if they could arrest the SLC Police chief and LDS church leaders we would almost be able to turn the corruptness in Utah around!

    • Daisy1971

      Amen! Arrest the high ranking LDS Leaders for FRAUD! The whole ‘church’ is a fraud. Built on fraud of Joey Smith! And all these blind shrep just follow! The LDS ‘church’ should have their tax exempt status taken away!!!

  • WHAT???

    I think it is bull that they were released without paying for a bond, any other person put in jail would have to pay. That shows you the more money you have and are part of the good ole’ boys club, you don’t have to pay squat. Any other person would sit their butts in jail until someone could come up with the bail. NICE!! That disgusts me!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cody

    Some of you need to remember that you are paying for this and what they did was with your money.

    You have two choices:
    1) Bury your head in the sand again and pretend this never happened.
    2) Stop this ridiculous charade of a representative government and get out there and change it.

    Sadly, most of you have already chosen the first choice.

  • Paul Zoch

    Wow, most you guys seem to have already tried an convicted these two. Let the system run it’s course before you judge.

    • dave

      your right. that is something that bugs me a bit on these forums is the judging when the story contains little to no evidence about weather or not they did it or sometimes evan what they did.

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