SALT LAKE CITY -- Prosecutors are seeking to drop the corruption case against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
In a motion filed in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings asked for the entire case to be dismissed, citing a number of reasons, including a cooperation agreement, recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and accusations the U.S. Justice Department has been less than forthcoming with evidence.
Shurtleff declined to comment until the judge ruled on the motion. Rawlings declined to comment to FOX 13 on Monday morning about his motion, other than to confirm he is seeking to dismiss all counts against Shurtleff.
In an email, Shurtleff's lawyer Richard Van Wagoner told FOX 13 his client was "gratified" by the decision.
"Mr. Shurtleff is gratified that the State has seen the wisdom not to oppose his motions to dismiss. While captioned as a 'Motion to Dismiss,' the State’s own filing concedes, for the most part, the basis for and strength of Mr. Shurtleff’s dispositive motions. Mr. Shurtleff and his counsel are in the process of reviewing the State’s filings and will have more to say at an appropriate time, once the Court has the opportunity to review and rule on the parties’ respective submissions," he wrote.
Shurtleff was facing a number of felony level corruption-related charges, accused of accepting gifts and donations from people facing investigation by the Utah Attorney General's Office. His successor, John Swallow, is also fighting to have the charges dismissed.
In the motion, Rawlings detailed a "cooperation agreement" with Shurtleff.
From the motion:
The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McDonnell has also impacted the case, Rawlings wrote. He also blasted the Justice Department for failing to provide evidence to both prosecutors and defense.
From the motion:
Rawlings also claimed that there was insufficient evidence to support some charges, and the publicity surrounding Shurtleff's case could be prejudicial.
The case against Shurtleff and Swallow sent shockwaves through Utah's political landscape and politicos in the state were stunned by Rawlings' decision to drop the case on Monday, though many declined to speak on the record.
Shurtleff's team filed their own legal motion to have the case dismissed with prejudice, meaning it could not be refiled. In the filing, they insisted Shurtleff maintained his innocence, but conceded: "Mr. Shurtleff remains willing to provide additional assistance to the State through certain testimony in related actions."
Late Monday, Rawlings asked Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills to give him a week to respond to the defense filing. The request could mean she is likely to wait before dismissing the case.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who is prosecuting Swallow, said the decision by Rawlings would not affect their case.
"Mr. Rawlings has the responsibility for the prosecution of his case and his reasons for dismissal," Gill said. "This does not alter our prosecution of Mr. Swallow nor our commitment to the presentment of our case."
Read the filing by the Davis County Attorney here:
Read Shurtleff's filing here: