Unless you’ve been living on the moon for the year or so you have undoubtedly heard about the arrests of John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff. In July 2014, both Swallow and Shurtleff were arrested on various charges including bribery, accepting gifts, tampering with witnesses and evidence, and engaging in a pattern of unlawful conduct. In all, Swallow, who was forced from office less than a year into his first term as Attorney General, was charged with eleven felonies and two misdemeanors, including multiple counts of receiving or soliciting bribes, accepting gifts, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and participating in a pattern of unlawful conduct. As for his compatriot Shurtleff, who served as Attorney General for twelve years before Swallow took office, he was charged with ten felonies, including receiving or soliciting bribes, accepting gifts, tampering with witnesses and evidence, and participating in a pattern of unlawful conduct.
Swallow’s preliminary hearing has been set for June 8, 2015, and Shurtleff’s is set for one week later on June 15th. According to a recent news report, Shurtleff is anxious for his day in court. “It’s time to get this evidence before a judge and we’re very excited it’s going to happen in June. I look forward to telling the rest of the story that y’all haven’t heard yet,” Shurtleff told reporters after appearing in 3rd District Court recently. According to Shurtleff’s lawyer, “It will be a year in June. His name has been vilified in the press and he wants the opportunity to hear what the state claims it has, what it thinks it can prove and really start the process now of clearing his name.”
To date, no plea offers have been made to either Swallow or Shurtleff, and that’s just fine by Shurtleff and his lawyer. “And I think that with my client that would probably be a waste of time,” Shurtleff’s lawyer said. “You can say that again,” said Shurtleff, as he stood next to his lawyer.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 22. As for the looming preliminary hearing, Shurtleff’s lawyer says, “I really don’t know what the state is planning to do .. I don’t know what the criminal information will look like. I don’t know what evidence they think they have. … I really don’t know what the case will look like at that point.” Following the preliminary hearings we will know more about the potential fates of Swallow and Shurtleff, but for now we will have to wait until June. Stay tuned.