Two former Utah state attorneys general were arrested at their homes on Tuesday. Both Republicans face numerous charges, including receiving and soliciting bribes. The men were charged with a combined 23 counts that could total 30 years each in prison. Bail was set at $250,000 each, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Both men have been the subject of multiple investigations, including a $4 million probe by a special state House committee.
According to NPR, the report found that Swallow “compromised the principles and integrity of the office to benefit himself and his political supporters” and that Shurtleff “sold out” Utah residents.
Mark Shurtleff served as attorney general for a dozen years before completing his third term at the beginning of 2013. John Swallow was elected to succeed him but resigned in November, less than a year into the job. On Tuesday, Swallow was charged with 11 felonies and two misdemeanors, including accepting bribes, tampering with evidence, misuse of public funds and obstructing justice. Shurtleff faces 10 counts on similar charges.
They could each face 30 years in prison.
GOP Gov Gary Herbert said, “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.”
“We have filed what we think are appropriate and minimal charges,” Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference on Tuesday,
“We could have filed more, but we chose at this time to just file what we did,” Gill said.
Gill, a Democrat, denied any partisan motivation.
The relationship between Swallow and Shurtleff and various businessmen is at question.. They allegedly used a private jet, luxury houseboat and Ferrari belonging to a man named Jeremy Johnson on multiple occasions. Johnson has been indicted on 86 federal charges of fraud.
According to the Deseret News, investigators have also examined their relationship with another wealthy businessman, Marc Sessions Jenson. Jenson is serving a 10-year sentence on securities fraud and has accused Shurtleff and Swallow of extortion.
On a 2009 recording that surfaced last year, Shurtleff is heard saying he believed he could get $2 million from Jenson to silence an investor.
Watch courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune as the two men leave jail.
H/T: A friend of LL’s, TiredOfTea, with thanks.