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Mark Shurtleff is joining in a motion by prosecutors who are asking a state judge to order the U.S. government turn over any evidence it gathered in its aborted investigation of the former Utah attorney general and his successor.
Evidence from the aborted investigation of Shurlteff likely will contain information that will help his defense in the criminal case against him, wrote Sam Alba, an attorney for Shurtleff, in backing the motion recently filed by Shurtleff's chief prosecutor, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings.
"Given the fact that the United States conducted its own independent investigation before declining to bring charges and later cooperated with state investigators, it is reasonable to assume that the United States possesses evidence relevant to Mr. Shurtleff's innocence and the credibility of several key witnesses," Alba wrote.
Rawlings has asked 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills to order the federal government to turn over information gathered by federal agents and prosecutors. He suggested it might explain why federal prosecutors pulled out of the case without filing charges.
Alba, in a court filing on Monday, pointed out that even after the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Division pulled out of the investigation, which also included then-Attorney General John Swallow, FBI agents joined with Rawlings and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill in pursuing charges against Shurtleff and Swallow.
In his motion filed a week earlier, Rawlings suggested that federal prosecutors were trying to hide information about why the Department of Justice abandoned its investigation in September 2013 or that it was hiding information that concerned the actions of unnamed federal employees.
Federal prosecutors have until Oct. 26 to file a reply.
Shurtleff, 58, in June pleaded not guilty to five felony and two misdemeanor counts: three counts of accepting prohibited gifts, two counts of obstructing justice, one count of extortion or bribery to dismiss a criminal proceeding and one count of official misconduct. A trial is scheduled to begin May 10.
Swallow, 52, faces 13 felonies and one misdemeanor.