Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tim Lawson makes his initial appearance in district court in Salt Lake City Wednesday December 18. He is charged with a pattern of unlawful activity, tax violations, retaliation against a witness and obstructing justice, stemming from a months-long investigation into alleged misconduct by Mark Shurtleff, John Swallow and others.
Shurtleff ‘fixer’ Tim Lawson excused from court hearing
Court » He is the first person charged in an investigation of alleged misconduct by two ex-attorneys general.
First Published Feb 03 2014 12:33 pm • Last Updated Feb 03 2014 08:33 pm

Tim Lawson, the first person charged in a sweeping investigation of alleged misconduct by two former Utah attorneys general, has bonded out of jail and did not appear for a scheduling hearing in court Monday.

Lawson, whose attorney Ron Yengich attended the hearing on his behalf, was excused, given recent family troubles but will be back in court next month.

At a glance

The charges against Tim Lawson

Count 1 » Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony, apparently related to payments from businessman Marc Sessions Jenson.

Count 2 » Tax violation, a second-degree felony, for allegedly failing to pay taxes on monies that came from Jenson.

Count 3 » Tax violation, a third-degree felony, also apparently related to the Jenson monies.

Count 4 » Retaliation against a witness, victim or informant, a third-degree felony, for a Dec. 16, 2009, voice mail Lawson left for Jeffrey Donner, a Colorado resident who was trying to recover $1.5 million he invested in Jenson’s Mount Holly development.

Count 5 » Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, for a March 4, 2013, phone call in which Lawson allegedly provided false information to Kirk Torgensen, then chief deputy over the criminal division in the Utah attorney general’s office.

Count 6 » Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, for allegedly providing false information during an Aug. 27, 2013, interview with FBI agents.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The man, who has been described as a friend, fundraiser and "fixer" for former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, posted a $250,000 bond Jan. 10, days after a judge declined to consider his request for a lower bail amount.

Lawson will next appear before 3rd District Judge James Blanch in March for a hearing at which the court is likely to set a time for a preliminary hearing.

At that hearing, prosecutors will put on evidence in hopes of showing probable cause that Lawson committed the crimes of which he is accused: intimidating witnesses, evading taxes, obstructing justice and participating in a pattern of unlawful activity.

If they succeed, Blanch will order Lawson to stand trial.

Prosecutors in Salt Lake and Davis counties — who have been investigating former Attorney General John Swallow and his predecessor, Shurtleff — charged Lawson with six felony counts, for which he could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

State investigators working with county attorneys obtained a search warrant for cellphone records about calls and texts by Shurtleff and others.

The warrant, signed in December by 3rd District Judge Vernice Trease, demands records from two phones used by Shurtleff since 2007, as well as those used by Lawson.

In addition to Lawson’s six felony charges, the search warrant states that investigators are looking at other possible felonies in the case, specifically bribing a public official, evidence tampering, misusing public money and bribery to prevent criminal prosecution.

story continues below
story continues below


Twitter: @Marissa_Jae

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.