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If a judge signs off, former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff will be prosecuted separately — and the two cases will be led by different county attorneys.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Tuesday his office would head up the case against Swallow while Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings' staff would lead the Shurtleff prosecution.

"It's a resource issue, and it's a division-of-labor issue," Gill said. "We will continue to collaborate."

After initially balking, prosecutors have filed a motion agreeing to separate the corruption case filed against Swallow and Shurtleff — a move defense attorneys have been seeking for weeks.

"The state of Utah has informed defense counsel it has determined that the appropriate course of action, legally and factually, is to prosecute the defendants separately and independently," according to the motion, which was filed by Shurtleff's defense team.

Gill said Tuesday that dividing the case was inevitable, given the scope and complexity of the two sets of charges.

A judge has not yet issued an order on the request.

Gill, a Democrat, and Rawlings, a Republican — with help from federal and state agents — worked together to bring charges in July against the two former GOP attorneys general.

Shurtleff and Swallow face a combined 23 criminal counts, which could land each man in prison for up to 30 years — if convicted.

A hearing is set for Dec. 12 before 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills on several other pending motions, including defense requests for more specific information on evidence behind the charges.

Prosecutors allege that Swallow and Shurtleff established a pay-to-play culture inside the Utah attorney general's office, which included taking bribes to ignore or protect big campaign donors whose business practices landed them in legal trouble. The charges followed months of investigative work by county, state and federal authorities, state lawmakers and the lieutenant governor's office.

Shurtleff was Utah's attorney general for a dozen years. He handpicked his one-time chief deputy, Swallow, to run as his successor.

Shurtleff, 57, is charged with 10 felonies, including receiving or soliciting bribes, accepting gifts, tampering with witnesses and evidence, and participating in a pattern of unlawful conduct.

Swallow, 52, who stepped down last December after less than a year in office, is charged with 11 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.

In October, Deputy Salt Lake County Attorney Chou Chou Collins asked a 3rd District judge to deny Swallow's request that his case proceed separately from the corruption charges against Shurtleff, arguing that under state law, two people can be charged together if they "are alleged to have participated in the same act or conduct or in the same criminal episode."