SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff pleaded not guilty to multiple felony corruption charges in court Monday.
Shurtleff, 57, appeared in 3rd District Court before Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills where his lawyer, Richard Van Wagoner, entered the not guilty plea on his behalf, according to the Deseret News.
Earlier this month Shurtleff waived his right to a preliminary hearing pending the result of motions being filed by Van Wagoner. The same day, three felony bribery charges originally filed against Shurtleff were dropped.
A status hearing in Shurtleff’s case has been set for Aug. 10.
Shurtleff faces five felony-level charges of accepting prohibited gifts, obstruction of justice, and bribery to dismiss a criminal proceeding, as well as two misdemeanor charges for obstructing justice and official misconduct. If convicted, he would face up to 30 years in prison.
Shurtleff, who served as the state’s attorney general for three terms, was arrested last year along with his successor, John Swallow, in the wake a two-year investigation. The investigation, a joint-operation between the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and Davis County Attorney’s Office, alleges both man engaged in various acts of corruption while in office.
Among the allegations made against Shurtleff is that he accepted prohibited gifts from convicted businessman Marc Sessions Jenson and federally-indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson.
Prosecutors point to Shurtleff’s alleged use of Jenson’s vacation home in Venice Beach, California, as well as use of Johnson’s private jet as examples of the prohibited gifts.
Jenson is serving 10 years in prison for communications fraud and money laundering. Johnson currently faces over 80 federal charges of Internet fraud. His case goes to trial in September.
Swallow waived his preliminary hearing June 2 and is expected to be arraigned July 20.
He currently faces 13 third-degree felonies and one misdemeanor charge related to allegations of patterns of unlawful activity, soliciting or accepting bribes, accepting gifts where prohibited, tampering with evidence and lying to investigators.
- Bribery charges dropped against former Utah attorney general; case moves forward
- Former Attorney General Swallow waives prelim, corruption case moves forward
- Shurtleff, Swallow make first appearances in court
- Swallow, Shurtleff arrested on multiple felony counts related to alleged corruption
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