Utah Busts 2 Ex-AGs on Bevy of Corruption Charges

John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff were subjects of lengthy bribery investigation

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 15, 2014 12:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said two former Utah attorneys general, John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, were arrested today after a bribery probe that stemmed from their cozy relationships with several businessmen during their time in office. Swallow was booked on four felony charges, including receiving or soliciting a bribe and misusing public money. Shurtleff was also booked on four felony charges, three of which were bribery-related. Two of Swallow's charges and all four of Shurtleff's charges each come with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The arrests come more than 14 months after prosecutors started scrutinizing Shurtleff and Swallow's relationships with businessmen, including allegations of a chain of favors, campaign donations, and gifts such as spa vacations and use of a private jet.

Swallow resigned in late 2013; the first bombshell dropped less than a week after he took office in January 2013, when a businessman in trouble with federal regulators accused Swallow of arranging a bribery plot involving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The accusations snowballed, and led to probes by the Department of Justice, Utah elections officials, and the state bar. Utah lawmakers concluded Swallow hung a veritable "for sale" sign on the attorney general's office. Shurtleff, his predecessor, left a job at a large DC law firm six months after leaving office when one businessman claimed Shurtleff had once offered him $2 million if he stopped trying to find a suspected swindler. That came on the heels of a jailed businessman's claims that he paid for meals, golf, and massages for Shurtleff and Swallow at a Newport Beach resort months after the Utah AG's office charged him with fraud.

This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo shows former Utah attorney general John Swallow, who was booked on four felony charges.
This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo shows former Utah attorney general John Swallow, who was booked on four felony charges.   (AP Photo/Salt Lake County Sheriff)
This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo shows former Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff, who was booked on four felony charges, three of which were bribery-related.
This Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photo shows former Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff, who was booked on four felony charges, three of which were bribery-related.   (AP Photo/Salt Lake County Sheriff)
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, right, speaks to reporters after authorities arrested two former Utah attorneys general who were targets of a bribery probe.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, right, speaks to reporters after authorities arrested two former Utah attorneys general who were targets of a bribery probe.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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