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A 3rd District judge has formally separated the criminal prosecutions of former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, state court records show.
Swallow and Shurtleff were charged as co-defendants in July 2014 with multiple charges stemming from alleged acts of bribery and corruption prosecutors say the two men carried out while in the Utah attorney general's office.
The cases were divided informally in November, when Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, who had jointly investigated Shurtleff and Swallow, agreed to divvy up the prosecutions. Gill's office is prosecuting Swallow, and Rawlings has the Shurtleff case, although the teams continue to collaborate.
A Friday entry in Shurtleff's case docket shows 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills signed an order Dec. 16 which states "that the prior procedural link between Mr. Shurtleff and Mr. Swallow's cases … is dissolved."
Rawlings confirmed the judge's decision Monday, saying it "effectively implements what we asked the judge to do." He declined further comment on the case.
Shurtleff's attorney, Richard Van Wagoner, was not immediately available for comment Monday.
Hruby-Mills initially declined to approve requests to separate the cases, saying that prosecutors would first have to refile charges against the two former officeholders.
Gill filed an amended criminal complaint in the Swallow case in November, adding a new felony count to bring the total number of charges to 14, including 12 felonies and two misdemeanors. A June 8-12 preliminary hearing is set.
Rawlings dropped one of the 10 felonies originally filed against Shurtleff a racketeering charge in November. He is expected to file an amended criminal complaint, but it is unclear whether that will happen before a Feb. 12 hearing.
Both men have maintained their innocence.