SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Former Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested Tuesday morning.
Swallow booked on bribery, false material statements, evidence tampering, misusing public money. Shurtleff was charged with unlawful acts, bribery, witness tampering, evidence tampering, and obstruction of justice.
Governor Gary Herbert released the following statement:
“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. While we respect the rule of law and due process, this serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law and, if anything, public servants must be held to a higher standard.”
Senator Jim Dabakis released the following statement:
Former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff have been arrested. It is a day of great sorrow and shame for Utah.
But, the problem remains. 'Pay for Play' is still the name of the game, it is the heart of the problem. And nothing has changed.
Utah still has no limits on contributions to campaigns! This needs to end. If the arrest of two Attorneys General does not motivate such a change--it is hard to understand what will.
In Utah, no amount of money from PACs, Corporations, Labor Unions or special interests is too much. No amount of contributions from people or corporations doing business with the state is too much. Utah is only one of three states with such a gaping hole in campaign contributions.
It is a disappointment that the multimillion dollar Dunnigan Special Committee avoided serious solutions to the broader issue by failing to recommend serious campaign finance reform. Unfortunately, so far, the 'honey pot' cash allure of unlimited tainted money is greater then staying clear of, at least, the appearance of conflict.
Maryann Martindale from Alliance for a Better Utah released the following statement:
"It would be naïve to believe that this is the extent of bad behavior in Utah politics. Robust ethics laws, campaign finance reform and voter election reform, including independent redistricting and competitive elections, are all crucial to curbing corruption in Utah politics and for restoring the public trust. These arrests are the beginning. The legislature must also do its part and pass reasonable legislation to further discourage this type of behavior."