- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Investigators in an ongoing criminal probe of former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff are sifting through data obtained through a series of sweeping search warrants.

A judge’s issuance of 11 search warrants has allowed investigators to obtain email and phone records and other data from computer giants Google, Yahoo and Apple and phone companies AT&T; and Verizon Wireless.

“It’s a huge amount of data that we’re going through,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told The Salt Lake Tribune (https://bit.ly/1mmV7LX ).

Swallow’s attorney, Rod Snow, said he’s growing concerned about the scale of the probe and fears it could result in violations of due process.

“I’m not saying that has happened here, but I’m beginning to fear that it may be happening,” he said.

According to court documents, Google provided email account information, chat logs, stored photos, contact lists, calendar entries and documents for many individuals, including Swallow, Shurtleff and Shurtleff’s confidant Tim Lawson.

Cellphone companies turned over call records, voicemail messages, cell tower tracking data, text messages and billing information for Shurtleff and former Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen.

So far, Lawson is the only individual charged in the probe. He was charged in December with interfering with criminal cases and intimidating witnesses while working as a go-between for Shurtleff and a convicted fraudster. Shurtleff has denied any wrongdoing.

Swallow announced his resignation in late November after his nearly 11-month tenure as the state’s top law enforcement officer was overshadowed by allegations of shady dealings with businessmen. He has repeatedly maintained his innocence.

Last month, a Utah House panel closed its own investigation of Swallow by releasing a report that says he “hung a veritable ‘for sale’ sign” on the office door by inviting “moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors.”

The report, which contains nearly 4,000 documents, emails and other records, largely mirrors what investigators working for lawmakers detailed in December shortly after Swallow resigned.

Investigators said that before and during Swallow’s time in office, “he cultivated a series of relationships with individuals and particular Utah-based industries that resulted in a pattern of benefits, including campaign contributions, political favors, and cash and other benefits, flowing back and forth between him and them.”

House investigators obtained subpoenas for email records on specific issues and tried to recover data lost on computers. Criminal investigators are taking a broader approach by going straight to Internet companies for more records.

The criminal investigation also is being conducted by Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, FBI agents and the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Neither Swallow nor Shurtleff have been charged with any crimes.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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