Swallow, Shurtleff arrested on multiple felony counts related to alleged corruption

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested Tuesday morning on multiple felony counts stemming from a multi-agency investigation into allegations of corruption.

Utah media reported Tuesday morning that both men were arrested at their homes and booked into jail. Their arrest follows a month after warrant searches were conducted at their homes in June. The searches were conducted by the FBI and Utah Department of Public Safety as a part of an ongoing investigation by the Salt Lake and Davis county attorney’s offices.

The arrests themselves were reported as being uneventful.

(R-L) John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff | Photos courtesy of Salt Lake County, St. George News

During a press conference held Tuesday morning, Sim Gill, Salt Lake District County Attorney, read off the lists of charges that include five second-degree felonies, six third-degree felonies, and two class-B misdemeanors for Swallow, and seven second-degree felonies and three third-degree felonies for Shurtleff.

Charges for both are related to allegations of patterns of unlawful activity, soliciting or accepting bribes, accepting gifts where prohibited, tampering with evidence, among other counts tied to suspected corruption.

Bail for each of the men was set at $250,000, Gill said. Both men have since been allowed to leave the jail on pretrial release.

A minimum of charges based on the investigation’s findings are what the former attorneys general have been hit with, Gill said. There is the possibility that, as the investigation continues, additional charges could be added.

Accusations against the two men come from a number of sources, including federally-indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, convicted businessman Marc Jensen, and findings made during other investigations.

Agent Mary Rook, of the FBI’s Salt Lake City field office, said in the press conference that the arrests come after a two-year investigation. The FBI’s investigation into Swallow and Shurtleff would ultimately join with the overall investigations being conducted by the Salt Lake and Davis County, as well as the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Rook said there was some speculation why the FBI continued looking into the two men while the Department of Justice dropped its own investigation.

“Our primary goal is the pursuit of justice,” she said, and “the investigation of public corruption is one the FBI’s highest priorities.”

To this end the FBI will use the means available to it in pursuit of its goals, Rook said. In this case, those means were the county attorney investigations.

The FBI investigation remains active, Gill said.

During the press conference, Gill thanked the hard work of all the agencies involved, as well as the investigations by the Utah House of Representatives and the Lt. Governor’s Office into Swallow’s alleged misconduct.

This has been a large, nuanced and complex investigation,” Gill said.

As for the public’s trust in public offices, Gill asked people not to indict an entire system based on the actions of two people.

In the case of Swallow, Gill said, he could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. However, he also stressed that both Swallow and Shurtleff are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

Gov. Gary Herbert issued the following statement in the wake of the arrests:

This is a sad day for Utah. The entire situation, regardless of how the legal process plays out, is a black eye for our state. While we respect the rule of law and due process, this serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law and, if anything, public servants must be held to a higher standard.

State Sen. James Dabakis also issued a statement:

Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff have been arrested. It is a day of great sorrow and shame for Utah.

But, the problem remains. ‘Pay for Play’ is still the name of the game, it is the heart of the problem. And nothing has changed.

Utah still has no limits on contributions to campaigns! This needs to end. If the arrest of two Attorneys General does not motivate such a change–it is hard to understand what will.

In Utah, no amount of money from PACs, Corporations, Labor Unions or special interests is too much. No amount of contributions from people or corporations doing business with the state is too much. Utah is only one of three states with such a gaping hole in campaign contributions.

It is a disappointment that the multimillion dollar Dunnigan Special Committee avoided serious solutions to the broader issue by failing to recommend serious campaign finance reform. Unfortunately, so far, the ‘honey pot’ cash allure of unlimited tainted money is greater then staying clear of, at least, the appearance of conflict.

Ed. Note: Details surrounding Swallow and Shurtleff’s release from jail have been corrected.


Charging documents

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Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.



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  • TARRELL July 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Sim gill you just go ahead with the rest of the charges because that’s shurtleff ‘s M.O
    Charge them with tree counts higher so they will plea bargain the actual crime to get out someday

  • TooToo July 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    If the feds investigate Shurtleff and his ties to the corrupt FLDS polygamists, they will find even more corruption – off with his head !!!

  • crack babies r us July 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm


  • Dana July 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Thank You Sim Gill and the FBI. Let’s see how good Swallow and Shurtleff are at making deals now. Shurtleff already started turning on Swallow, as evidenced by his text messages to Kirk Torgensen— http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58165351-90/shurtleff-torgensen-office-attorney.html.csp
    He’s playing the “I didn’t know” card. What a rat.
    I hope Swallow reads those texts daily and airs all of the dirty secrets of his former boss.This is going to be fun to watch.

  • ladybugavenger July 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Swallow your pride…;)

    • Jen Lindley July 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Oh I’m sure they”ll both be swallowing something soon. I don’t think it will be pride though 🙂

  • Mark July 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Common let’s here the Santa Clara ….. come to JJ’s defense, that he didn’t do it, he was set up yadee yadee yadee, put them all in the same cell let them work it out, waiting….

  • Mark July 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Eventually they will all swallow.

  • killjoy July 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Seems like they are getting what they deserve for persecuting innocent people. And i don’t mean those guys in jail

  • EL JEFE July 16, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Karma is a B*&%h….

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