Key witness in Swallow’s public corruption trial describes ‘shakedown’

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow following a hearing in Third District Court in which he pleaded not guilty to 13 charges of public corruption. He has been accused of bribery and other crimes after prosecutors say he accepted beach vacations and use of a luxury houseboat from businessmen in trouble with regulators, Salt Lake City, Utah, July, 27, 2015 | Photo by Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via the Associated Press, Pool, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — A key witness for the prosecution in the trial of ex-Utah Attorney General John Swallow has wrapped up three days of testimony, facing more cross-examination about his accusations of payments, trips and other perks he says he was forced to give Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff.

Marc Jenson is a key witness for the state, basically accusing Shurtleff and Swallow of a “shakedown” as he faced investigation by the Utah Attorney General’s Office in a securities fraud case.

“I paid for those items on those receipts, including the stay at Pelican Hill,” Marc Jenson testified of an anniversary trip Swallow and his wife, Suzanne, took to the posh California resort.

Marc Jenson, a key witness in the public corruption case against John Swallow, stands by his testimony that Greg Hughes was involved in shady business involving former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, Salt Lake City, Jan. 24, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Fox 13 News, St. George News

He claimed he made payments to Shurtleff through Lawson as part of his restitution and even hired Swallow prior to his becoming attorney general, but ultimately he was thrown in prison for not paying restitution in his case.

Asked by deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney why he didn’t report the extortion, Jenson replied: “Who do you report the attorney general to?”

Criminal charges were ultimately dropped against Shurtleff. Swallow is currently on trial on 13 charges ranging from soliciting a bribe and making a false statement to pattern of unlawful activity.

His trial is expected to last a month, but testimony has dragged on over the past two days.

Prosecutors were expected to call some of Jenson’s assistants to the witness stand on Friday to bolster his testimony.

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Written by BEN WINSLOW,

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2017 / KSTU, a Tribune Broadcasting Station.

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