Agents used 'Dirty Harry' tactics and traumatized family, Mark Shurtleff says

Published: Tuesday, June 3 2014 11:25 a.m. MDT

Shurtleff said agents "trashed" his house. He said they took his children's computers and memory cards from his wife's camera. He said his adult son gave agents computer passwords and the key to the gun safe.

"They had to know I was out of town," he said, adding that his attorneys met with Gill and Rawlings last week.

Shurtleff said he intended to meet with the county attorneys next week and still wants to tell them his side of the story.

Shurtleff said investigators are "recklessly negligent" and intentionally misleading judges and twisting facts to get search warrants. He said he has tried to let the process unfold — but no more.

"When I'm cleared of these charges, and I will be cleared, there will be accountability and there will be liability on the part of these people," he said.

Prosecutors have not charged Shurtleff or Swallow with any crimes.

"I'm done standing back and being quiet," Shurtleff said, adding that the investigation has ruined his public image, hurt his job opportunities and damaged his family.

"I think if they’ll do that to me, with my entire life and career in service to law enforcement and public safety, they'll do it to anybody," he said.

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, who headed the Utah House Special Investigative Committee, said he wasn't surprised by the search warrants at Shurtleff's and Swallow's homes. He also said he wouldn't be surprised if the investigation leads to formal charges.

"We gave a wealth of information to the district attorneys," Dunnigan said, adding he has talked with the FBI and DPS since the House ended its investigation in January.

"We've had some straggling bits of harvest from the ground we plowed previously," he said. "We do believe they are following some of those paths."

Dunnigan said the committee tried to be fair and thorough in its investigation and believes Gill and Rawlings are doing the same.

The Alliance for a Better Utah issued a statement saying Shurtleff and Swallow try to deflect attention from their wrongdoing at each stage of the investigation.

"If the police acted improperly, that should certainly be investigated, but the issuance and execution of search warrants are routine in criminal investigations, and Mark Shurtleff of all people knows that," spokesman Isaac Holyoak said.

Better Utah filed the complaint last year that led to a state elections office investigation that found Swallow violated campaign finance law.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsPolitics

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