< Previous Page
Lawson brought other cases to the attorney general’s office on behalf of friends, in one instance urging prosecutors to press charges against a prospective business partner’s ex-wife.
His entanglements with the office became so disconcerting to Shurtleff’s top deputies that — without notifying Shurtleff — in early 2012 they asked an investigator with the state Department of Public Safety to examine whether Lawson was breaking the law.
This past February, top officials in the office huddled with Rawlings to discuss the case. The Davis County prosecutor raised questions of whether Shurtleff might be complicit, rather than a witness, in potential crimes.
The investigation proceeded and, in May, Lawson said he was visited by DPS Investigator Scott Nesbitt and FBI Agent Jon Isakson.
Torgensen said Thursday he repeatedly warned Shurtleff and Swallow about Lawson’s conduct and advised them to keep their distance.
"I said, ‘I don’t know why this guy is out there saying, I can represent you with the attorney general. It’s inappropriate and it’s got to stop,’ " Torgensen said. When Donner’s attorney contacted the office to report Lawson’s intimidating correspondence, Torgensen said he had a frank, closed-door meeting with Shurtleff.
Torgensen said he gave similar advice to Swallow soon after he joined the office in late 2009: "I was simply saying, ‘If I were you, I’d stay away from this guy.’ "
Tom Harvey contributed to this story
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.