Former Utah Attorneys General leave jail after arrested

Former Utah Attorneys General leave jail after arrested

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were both charged with multiple felony counts including bribery.
John Swallow briefly addresses the media as he leave the Salt Lake County Jail following his arrest Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  (Marcos Ortiz, ABC 4 Utah )
John Swallow briefly addresses the media as he leave the Salt Lake County Jail following his arrest Tuesday, July 15, 2014. (Marcos Ortiz, ABC 4 Utah )
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The former attorney general claims he is innocent and looks forward to his day in court.
John Swallow spent nearly four hours at the Salt Lake metro jail after he was arrested at his home Tuesday morning.

Swallow and former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff were both charged with multiple felony counts including bribery.

"I absolutely maintain my innocence," Swallow told reporters waiting outside the county jail. "We refute the charges and this finally gives us the opportunity to start and respond back."

Shurtleff was the first to be released from the jail. He was on crutches and wearing a foot brace from. He had little to say when he approached reporters saying he would offer more comments later at a press conference at his attorney's office.

"I do appreciate you not coming to my home and not bothering my family from this point on," Shurtleff told reporters.

Later at his press conference it was a defiant Shurtleff who addressed reporters.

“The charges of criminal wrongdoing are completely false,” Shurtleff said in his opening statement.

He says he was treated with respect by arresting agents and has confidence in the judicial system. But he’s not happy with the way the Salt Lake District attorney handled the investigation. He blamed D.A. Sim Gill for the number of leaks to the media.

“I believe these leaks were done by Mr. Gill and his office to get the one sided warrants and affidavits you've seen in the public and have all seen and reported on to sully my name and reputation,” says Shurtleff.

Over the past two years, the FBI conducted several searches at the homes of Swallow and Shurtleff who says the D.A. mislead judges.

“The warrant affidavits I've reviewed were obtained by misleading the signing judge in very significant ways,” says Shurtleff.
The former attorney general says the arrest and jailing were humiliating and it's another effort by the district attorney to embarrass him in public. Shurleff vowed to prove his innocence.

“I admit I am not perfect,” says Shurtleff. “I never professed to be perfect. I have never intentionally violated any ethics, the code of ethics or misused or abused the public trust and certainly have not violated the laws of the state of Utah.”

Swallow says he did not talk nor see Shurtleff while inside the jail. Bail was set at $250,000 each but Swallow said he did not have to post bail. Shurtleff likewise did not have to post bail.
Their attorneys and the district attorney agreed before hand that they could be released on their own recognizance after their were bookd and processed at the jail.

"I was most impressed with the courtesy of those here at the jail," said Swallow of his time inside the jail.

A spokesperson for the jail said both Swallow and Shurtleff were booked and released. Because of their public status, they were under the careful watch by jail personnel.

"This has been a difficult time for my family for me and my neighbors and friends," said Swallow. "I am grateful for their support and I want them to know I absolutely maintain my Innocence and this is just the process."

He reminded reporters that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

"I look forward to my day in court to confront my accusers and to share my side of the story for the first time," said Swallow.
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