Local police and FBI agents on Tuesday arrested two former Utah attorneys general for a combined 23 counts of bribery, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice following a two-year investigation into corruption in the office of the state’s top law enforcement agency. John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were each released on $250,000 bail.
“This has been a complex, nuanced, large investigation. There are multiple leads that are being continued to be investigated,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference after the arrests. “The investigation is still active.”
The men have been accused of having what officials call a cozy relationship with businessmen. One of those businessmen, Timothy Lawson, has also been charged. Officials claim Mr. Swallow and Mr. Shurtleff accepted gifts, including the use of private airplanes and comfortable stays at luxury hotels, and then attempted to cover up these activities by destroying emails and misleading investigators.
Mr. Shurtleff, Mr. Shallow’s predecessor as state attorney general, previously insisted that he had done nothing wrong. Max D. Wheeler, Mr. Shurtleff’s attorney, didn’t return any calls for comment.
Mr. Shallow, considered to be one of the state’s more conservative Republicans, took office in January 2013 and resigned less than a year later. He then went on to make an unsuccessful attempt at a seat in Congress.
“This is a sad day for Utah,” Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement Tuesday. “The entire situation, regardless of how the legal process plays out, is a black eye for our state.”
Source: Carlton, Jim “Two Former Utah Attorneys General Arrested,” The Wall Street Journal, July 15th, 2014