Two former Utah attorneys general were arrested on an array of bribery charges Tuesday stemming from cozy relationships with several businessmen, a stunning fall for a pair of politicians who built immense political clout in their years at the highest level of state law enforcement. John Swallow, 51, and Mark Shurtleff, 56, were arrested at their homes Tuesday morning, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said at a news conference in which he detailed payoffs involving gold coins, swanky resorts and other luxury gifts.
"This is a sad day for Utah," Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement.
Court records show John Swallow faces 13 charges, including felony bribery charges, while Shurtleff faces 10 counts that include bribery. The most serious charges for each man come with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.
"I absolutely maintain my innocence," Swallow said. "This finally gives us the opportunity to start to respond back."
Shurtleff, also a Republican, said the charges leveled against him are completely false and motivated by a politically charged investigation by Gill, a Democrat. He accused Gill in charging forward with an incomplete investigation and engaging in political sideshow antics for his own political gain during a re-election year.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office via Reuters
A combination photo shows Utah's former attorneys general Mark Shurtleff (L) and John Swallow in police booking photos in Salt Lake City July 15. Former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested on Tuesday morning on corruption charges, the Salt Lake Sheriff's Office said.
- The Associated Press
First published July 15 2014, 4:32 PM