Quantcast

Shurtleff expects to be charged — and cleared

Published June 5, 2014 7:09 am

Investigation • Former A.G. also says he is "very, very disappointed" in his successor John Swallow.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two days after a police raid on his Sandy home left Mark Shurtleff fuming, the former three-term Utah attorney general said Wednesday he expects to be charged as part of a sweeping corruption probe but reaffirmed his innocence and vowed to be exonerated.

In an appearance on Trib Talk, The Salt Lake Tribune's online interview program, Shurtleff also said he has "learned" things about John Swallow that left him "very, very disappointed" in his handpicked successor, who stepped down as attorney general last December after less than a year in office.

Federal and state agents searched the Sandy homes of Swallow and Shurtleff on Monday as part of a criminal probe being led by top prosecutors in Salt Lake and Davis counties.

Shurtleff said the raid on his house took place just before he was scheduled to talk with investigators and give his version of events. He said he believed he could demonstrate to them that he had not committed any crimes.

But given the "aggressive" nature of this week's search, Shurtleff said he now "suspects" he will be charged.

"If they do, there'll be a battle, and I will win because I'm innocent," Shurtleff pledged. "There's no way there's any ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Swallow's attorney, Rod Snow, said Wednesday the experiences of Swallow and his family were quite different during the search of their home.

"While not the most pleasant experience, the law enforcement officers were professional and polite," Snow wrote in an email. "John is bothered by the events that unfolded during the search of the Shurtleff home and feels badly about what happened to his family members, as recounted in the press."

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who is leading the investigation with Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, has said he expects the probe to wrap up sometime between June and September.

Investigators have executed more than dozen warrants and amassed a mountain of computer data. Previous warrants have said officers are searching for possible evidence of bribery, obstruction of justice and misuse of public funds.

One person, Shurtleff confidant Tim Lawson, has been slapped with six felony counts.

Shurtleff refused to speculate Wednesday on whether Swallow would be charged.

"There are things I've learned about John Swallow that I did not know," he said of his former chief deputy. "I'm very, very disappointed. I wish I had [known]."

Snow said he thought Shurtleff was being quoted out of context.

Shurtleff was asked Wednesday whether he made mistakes.

"Maybe," he replied, "being way too open in my office, in talking to the press, in being supportive of causes, of keeping an open-door policy and letting anybody and everybody come in and see me, of looking for the good in people when they were distraught, perhaps suicidal, trying to be a good public servant, openhearted for people and not a closed, walled-off politician behind closed doors at his Capitol office."

tharvey@sltrib.com