Former Utah attorney general acquitted in
corruption case: media
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[March 03, 2017]
(Reuters) - A former Utah attorney
general was found not guilty on Thursday of bribery and corruption
charges after he was accused in a pay-to-play graft scandal, media said.
Republican John Swallow was acquitted of eight felony charges and a
misdemeanor, ranging from receiving or soliciting a bribe to obstructing
justice in a Salt Lake City courtroom, ending a 15-day trial, the Salt
Lake Tribune reported.
Swallow cried and held up his hands when Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills
read the verdicts in the packed courtroom before dismissing the jury of
five men and three women, the Deseret News in Salt Lake City said.
"I'm speechless," Swallow said after leaving the courtroom. "We're just
so grateful and the system did work. I'm grateful for my lawyers. I'm
grateful for my family and I'm grateful for our faith."
Swallow resigned in November 2013, less than a year into his first term
following the tenure of Mark Shurtleff, who was Utah's attorney general
for 12 years. Swallow was his handpicked chief deputy, whom Shurtleff
then backed as his successor in the 2012 election.
Both were accused after a two-year investigation of taking bribes to
look the other way or offer protection when donors to their political
campaigns ran into legal trouble during their terms.
The case against Shurtleff was dismissed in July.
Salt Lake County District County Attorney Sim Gill said the case was
complex and difficult.
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Former Attorney General John Swallow leaves after being booked at
the Salt Lake County Metro Jail in South Salt Lake City in this file
photo dated July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
"In some cases, jurors are asked to make simple assessments akin to
black versus white," he said in a statement to the Deseret News.
"In other cases, however, jurors are asked to consider matters
involving various shades of gray, where the right answer may be
difficult to find but where prosecutors must nonetheless find their
probable cause and follow the facts to wherever they lead. This case
fell squarely into the latter category," he said.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)
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