SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - Utah's Speaker of the House was dragged into the case involving former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
It is an allegation Speaker Greg Hughes denies.
Hughes' name was mentioned during a hearing for the former attorney general. Swallow is accused of multiple felonies and misdemeanors related to accepting gifts and bribes while in office. His trial is scheduled for next month.
The state's key witness, Marc Jenson claimed a "mystery man" showed up with Swallow and former attorney general Mark Shurtleff at a posh resort in southern California.
"I remembered him vividly," Jenson told Good 4 Utah during a court break. "The experience had an impact on me. The way he brushed by me."
His statements outside the courtroom where nearly identical to his testimony. But Jenson also took out his cell phone and showed a picture of Hughes. He said at the time that meeting happened he didn't know who Hughes was. But in 2016, Jenson claimed he saw a picture of Hughes and claimed it was the same man who came with Shurtleff and Swallow.
"I saw that (picture) and I knew immediately that was the man who was at Pelican Hill with Mark Shurtleff," Jenson said.
It's the first time in this lengthy investigation that Hughes name was disclosed.
Jenson who was imprisoned for failing to pay restitution in a fraud case is the state's key witness in the upcoming Swallow trial. Jenson claimed Shurtleff and Swallow demanded money in order to avoid charges. He said he paid millions of dollars to them as well as to other individuals Shurtleff asked him to pay.
During Tuesday's hearing Jenson claimed Shurtleff and Swallow arrived at the resort and demanded to meet business acquaintances of Jenson to secure campaign money for Shurtleff's run for the U.S. Senate.
Jenson testimony will help determine whether Shurtleff and his so-called fixer Timothy Lawson will be allowed during the trial.
During the hearing, Jenson claimed a "mystery man" came with Shurtleff and Swallow during the visit.
At the time, Hughes was a board member for UTA.
Word of Hughes possible ties to Shurtleff and Swallow reached the House Speaker and adamantly denied any involvement.
"I don't know why this person would lie about me," said Speaker Hughes. "I wouldn't know him if he was sitting next to me. But it's a lie. It besmirches the names of public servants and I'm going to prove it' a lie.
He said Jenson perjured himself in court and was under oath and there are penalties for that.
Jensen also accused former Nevada Senator Harry Reid was with Swallow and Shurtleff during another meeting at the resort. But he also testified he never saw Reid first hand.
"Mark Jenson is a liar," said Mark Shurtleff outside the courtroom. "He's been convicted time and time again. He's ripped off people millions of dollars. He makes up stuff on the spot. None of this is true. He makes up stuff on the spot."
Shurtleff attempted to listen to Jenson's testimony but was ordered out of the courtroom because he may be called upon by the state as a witness.
But Shurtleff was visibly upset that he was being shutout by the district attorney.
"What blows me away is you have the Salt Lake County DA office, putthing him on the stand under oath, as their key witness and let him commit perjury over and over again," said Shurtleff. "What's amazing is they won't call me as a witness. They know I'll hurt their case."
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