Via Talking Points Memo, this crazy story from the clean-living, God-fearing, Book of Mormon-thumping state of Utah. And of course they're Republicans!
Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were accused Tuesday of numerous bribery and obstruction of justice charges, most of them felonies. The charging documents from the Salt Lake City district attorney allege a decadent lifestyle of private jets, all-expense-paid vacations and veiled threats of violence for those who caused trouble.
Shurtleff, a Republican, served as the state's top legal official from 2001 to 2013. He was succeeded by Swallow, also a Republican, who had been one of his top deputies. Swallow resigned less than a year after taking office, as federal and state investigations into his and Shurtleff's alleged improprieties intensified. Both men had also pursued failed bids for Congress (Shurtleff for a U.S. Senate seat in 2009; Swallow for a House seat in 2002 and 2004.)
Now, the men who served as the top legal officials in Utah stand accused of soliciting bribes, accepting gifts, money laundering and interfering with the resulting criminal investigation. TPM parsed through the charging documents from the district attorney to find a few of the juiciest and most unbelievable details from the massive alleged corruption scheme.
While one of the duo's alleged associates, Mark Jenson, was on probation for securities fraud, he allegedly paid for Shurtleff and Swallow to vacation at Pelican Hills Resort in Newport Coast, Calif., twice in 2009. The resort was rated by Conde Nast Traveler's readers as one of the best hotels in the world from 2011 to 2014. The trip included massages, golf rounds, dining and men's apparel -- all allegedly paid for by Jenson. Swallow and his wife allegedly stayed there in July 2009 for their wedding anniversary as well.
They also traveled in style on the dime of their business friends, prosecutors allege. At the same time Swallow was allegedly working behind the scenes to help another associate, Jeremy Johnson, as he was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, Swallow allegedly spent two nights on Johnson's 80-foot luxury houseboat in the fall 2010. Shurtleff and Swallow also allegedly took Johnson's private aircraft on flights to and from California and St. George, Utah.
Go read the rest. These guys were really enjoying themselves!