This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A judge on Monday set a trial date for Timothy Lawson, a key figure in the political scandal that left former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow facing felony charges.
Lawson will stand trial in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court on six felony charges over six days beginning April 13, 2017.
Originally charged in December 2013, Lawson also formally waived his right to a speedy trial before Judge Paul Parker.
Lawson, sometimes dubbed Shurtleff's "fixer," has pleaded not guilty to counts of tax evasion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and pattern of unlawful activity.
Lawson was the first person charged in connection with allegations of bribery and misconduct inside the attorney general's office by Shurtleff and his successor, Swallow.
Both men were charged in 2014 and pleaded not guilty to myriad criminal offenses in separate cases.
Shurtleff's case was dismissed last month at the request of the chief prosecutor, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings. Swallow's case, being handled by the Salt Lake County district attorney's office, is ongoing and last week was set for a February 2017 trial.
Prosecutors say Lawson, a Provo businessman who once ran for the governor's office, attempted to threaten Utah business executives seeking Shurtleff's ear or assistance in incidents dating back to 2008.
Shurtleff and Swallow are both likely potential witnesses in Lawson's case.
Also on Monday, the judge set a Nov. 23 date for a preliminary hearing in a Social Security fraud case filed against Lawson earlier this year.
Salt Lake County prosecutors have charged the onetime gluten-free bakery operator with communications fraud, theft and making false or inconsistent statements for allegedly lying to the Social Security Administration.
Court papers say that between April 2012 and September 2013, Lawson twice told administrative judges from the Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review that he had been unemployed or worked fewer than five hours a week.
The claims resulted in a January 2014 award of $86,810 to him and his family, court papers say.
Prosecutors contend that state workforce services records show that in 2009 and 2010, Lawson reported owning a share in a Marshall Islands-based hovercraft business and operated a gluten-free bakery.
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to take a case to trial. A judge makes that decision.
Lawson hast not yet entered a plea in the Social Security case and would do so only after a judge decides whether the case should go to trial.