Former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and his successor John Swallow had their Salt Lake Valley homes searched simultaneously Monday with warrants served by both state and federal officers. Three warrants were executed about 4:30 p.m. by the FBI, State Bureau of Investigation, and the Utah Department of Public Safety. They did not release further information about the warrants “due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.”
According to earlier warrants and court records, investigators have been searching for evidence of possible misuse of public funds, receiving or soliciting a bribe, and obstruction of justice. Items seized in the searches were removed under cover or at a distance. FBI supervisory special agent Michelle Pickens did not release any details about what was found at either location. Agents were at Shurtleff’s home until about 7:15 p.m. and at Swallow’s until about 8:00 p.m.
Investigations has been going on for more than a year and a half, and have included the FBI, Department of Justice, the Utah Legislature, the Salt Lake and Davis County Attorneys, and the Attorney General‘s Office. Swallow resigned late last year after less than a year in office.
Both Swallow and Shurtleff have denied any wrongdoing. Shurtleff has said, “I’ll say flat-out, I’ll tell you right now, if I were to be charged, I’m going to win. They’re going to lose. This is not something I’m going to lay down for.”
There will be a special election held this November allowing voters to choose a new Attorney General or confirm Governor Herbert’s choice of Republican Sean Reyes. In a statement released late Monday, democratic candidate Charles Stormont responded to the search saying, “I have a great deal of respect for the process being followed by (Salt Lake County Attorney and Democrat) Sim Gill and (Davis County Attorney and Republican) Troy Rawlings as they work to ensure a thorough and complete investigation of the former Attorneys General.
Source: Charles Stormont, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, KUTV News, Fox13 News