- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - More than 50 people could be asked to testify at an evidence hearing for two former Utah attorneys general who are facing bribery charges.

In court documents filed Wednesday, prosecutors listed 56 potential witnesses in the case against John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff.

The list includes prosecutors and former division chiefs from the attorney general’s office, Swallow’s former campaign staffers and Shurtleff’s wife.

No evidence hearing has been scheduled yet in the case.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, one of the prosecutors in the case, said the potential witness list was requested by Shurtleff’s attorneys. Gill said more names could be added to the list.

Messages left with Shurtleff’s attorney Richard Van Wagoner and Swallow’s attorney Jeremy Delicino were not returned Thursday.

Swallow faces 13 charges, including felony bribery charges, while his predecessor, Shurtleff, faces 10 counts that include bribery. Prosecutors say both men accepted gifts and money from several businessmen.

Shurtleff and Swallow, both Republicans, have denied any wrongdoing.

The list of possible witnesses includes former assistant attorney general and current state Judge Charlene Barlow and attorney Brett Tolman, who was serving as the U.S. Attorney for Utah during Shurtleff’s term as state attorney general.

Prosecutors also listed many names that have popped up frequently in various accusations and investigations of Shurtleff and Swallow.

Jeremy Johnson, who has accused Swallow of orchestrating a bribery plot, is on the list. Prosecutors say Swallow and Shurtleff enjoyed use of Johnson’s luxury houses, cars and million-dollar houseboat on Lake Powell.

Another potential witness is jailed businessman Marc Jenson. Prosecutors say in 2008, Shurtleff negotiated a plea deal in Jenson’s fraud case that was so lenient that a judge wouldn’t accept it. After a more stringent deal was reached and Jenson was put on probation, prosecutors say Jenson paid for Shurtleff and Swallow to stay at a high-end California resort and enjoy meals, golf, clothing and massages.

Shurtleff and Swallow have denied the allegations.

In addition to a list of potential witnesses, Shurtleff’s attorneys have asked prosecutors to turn over all information they have collected about their client, including records from a 2007 sting operation in which Shurtleff worked with FBI agents to target an associate of Jenson.

The former attorneys general are charged as co-defendants, but Shurtleff has asked a judge to sever their cases. Shurtleff argues they should not be considered co-defendants because they face separate charges stemming from separate allegations. A judge has not ruled on that request.

Shurtleff and Swallow are scheduled to make another court appearance on Oct. 20 for a scheduling conference. That could change, however, as attorneys submit arguments with the court on various legal issues.


Follow Michelle L. Price at https://twitter.com/michellelprice



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