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Shurtleff files motion to dismiss case

FILE - Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, facing public corruption charges, appears in Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills courtroom in Salt Lake City on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, for a pre-trial hearing. Saying he already has faced numerous unfair delays
FILE - Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, facing public corruption charges, appears in Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills courtroom in Salt Lake City on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, for a pre-trial hearing. Saying he already has faced numerous unfair delays and that his due process has been violated, former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff filed a motion Friday to have his case dismissed.
Francisco Kjolseth

SALT LAKE CITY — Saying he already has faced numerous unfair delays and that his due process has been violated, former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff filed a motion Friday to have his case dismissed.

"Given the substantial delays in this case and the United States’ refusal to disclose (evidence), Mr. Shurtleff has been informed and firmly believes he will not receive the necessary information. This, in turn, has unfairly prejudiced and will unfairly prejudice Mr. Shurtleff’s ability to present dispositive motions or receive a fair trial," Shurtleff's attorneys stated in their motion filed in 3rd District Court.

Shurtleff is charged with five felonies — three counts of accepting gifts, and one each of bribery to dismiss a criminal proceeding and obstruction of justice — and two misdemeanors of obstructing justice and official misconduct. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

Shurtleff was originally charged in July 2014. In December, 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills pushed the start of Shurtleff's trial to Oct. 25. Because of constant delays, Shurtleff believes his right to a speedy trial has been violated.

"The state filed this case approximately two years ago, and trial will not occur until at least October 2016, if not later. Over these two years, the state has been the primary source of delay," according to Shurtleff's motion. "These delays prejudiced Mr. Shurtleff, who has suffered significant anxiety and concern arising out of the personal, media and financial pressure that will continue unabated until trial or dismissal."

Shurtleff also said his case should be dismissed because prosecutors cannot meet their Brady/Giglio obligations, which require the state to share all of its evidence with the defense.

The FBI originally investigated Shurtleff for allegedly accepting gifts, bribery to dismiss a criminal proceeding, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct during his time as Utah's top cop. But the investigation did not result in any charges.

Both Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings and Shurtleff joined in the same motion asking the FBI to turn over evidence the investigators collected. In February, some of that evidence was released, but not all of it. Shurtleff says the government has information relating to key witnesses and allegations associated with the case, including evidence that could show he didn't do anything wrong.

In his new motion, Shurtleff said he doubts the remaining evidence will ever be released.

"Mr. Shurtleff stands at a considerable disadvantage. The state has virtually unlimited resources to investigate its claims," the motion states. "Short of the government’s good faith, Mr. Shurtleff has no way of knowing the full extent of how the state has investigated, whom it has interviewed, what documents have been seized.

"Given the roadblocks created by the United States and task force, the state’s inability to comply with its constitutional obligations under Brady/Giglio, and prejudice flowing from the state’s delay in producing useable exculpatory and impeachment information, Mr. Shurtleff respectfully asks the court to dismiss the amended information with prejudice," the motion continued.

Rawlings filed a response late Friday, requesting an evidentiary hearing be set in court to address Shurtleff's motion.

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow was also charged with a dozen felonies, including pattern of unlawful activity, accepting gifts, bribery and money laundering, in state court. He has also pleaded not guilty.

The charges against Shurtleff and Swallow stem from a nearly two-year investigation into relationships they had, including with indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson and imprisoned businessman Marc Sessions Jenson.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam