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Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow formally entered pleas of not guilty Monday to each of the 14 criminal counts he faces in the corruption and bribery scandal that forced him from office in 2013.
"He pleads not guilty on each count, your honor," defense attorney Stephen McCaughey told 3rd District Court Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills on Swallow's behalf.
A four-week trial was scheduled to begin April 5, 2016.
Swallow, 52, is charged with 13 second- and third-degree felonies and one misdemeanor, including counts of money laundering, misuse of public funds, obstruction of justice and falsifying government records.
If convicted, the former Republican officeholder could face up to 30 years in prison.
Outside the Salt Lake City courtroom after his arraignment, Swallow declined any comment, saying he'd been told by his attorneys "not to say anything."
In June, Swallow waived an evidence hearing in the case, deciding to push the proceedings forward rather than let a judge decide if Salt Lake County prosecutors had sufficient evidence to take the case to trial.
"We can't put up any evidence that would do us any good [during a preliminary hearing]," his attorney Stephen McCaughey said last month. "This way, we'll be able to present the whole thing to a jury."
Days later, Swallow's former co-defendant and predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, also waived an evidence hearing in his own case and entered not guilty pleas to a reduced number of charges: five felonies and two misdemeanors.
Those charges include counts of accepting prohibited gifts, obstruction of justice, official misconduct and bribery to dismiss a criminal proceeding.
Shurtleff, 57, also faces a prison term of up to 30 years if convicted.
On Monday, Shurtleff's attorneys with the agreement of David Couty Attorney Troy Rawlings filed a motion asking Hruby-Mills to delay a planned Aug. 10 hearing in his case until late September.
"The parties are working through a number of matters, including issues related to discovery and anticipated motions, which has taken longer than they anticipated in large part because of the necessity and difficulty of obtaining discovery from the federal government," Shurtleff's attorneys wrote.
McCaughey said he is interested in seeing what Shurtleff files, although it may ultimately have no bearing on Swallow's case.
Swallow and Shurtleff were arrested and charged in July 2014 after a monthslong criminal investigations by county, state and federal authorities. A Utah House panel and the lieutenant governor's office also conducted inquiries.
The original cases were filed jointly by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat, and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican. They accused Shurtleff and Swallow of taking bribes or favors to ignore or protect big campaign donors whose business practices could land them in legal trouble.
The cases eventually were split, with Gill's office prosecuting Swallow and Rawlings taking on Shurtleff.
Shurtleff, also a Republican, was Utah's attorney general for 12 years and handpicked his former chief deputy, Swallow, to run for office as his successor.
Swallow glided to a lopsided electoral victory in 2012, but resigned after less than a year in office amid the ballooning scandal.
Sean Reyes, whom Swallow had defeated in the GOP primary, replaced him.