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Shurtleff responds to report critical of his conduct in Jenson case
Investigation » Former attorney general says he’ll be exonerated when the full story comes out.


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"But there is no justification whatsoever for Shurtleff to have had such interactions with Jenson," the report said. "Swallow’s involvement also raises significant concerns, given his roles as fundraiser for Shurtleff and soon-to-be heir apparent."

Shortly after returning from Pelican Hill, the Utah attorney general’s office began investigating another case involving Jenson, looking at whether he and his brother had cheated investors in the $3.5 billion Mount Holly ski and golf resort development planned near Beaver. Jenson, who had failed to pay restitution in his original plea, was sent back to jail.

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Investigators monitored Jenson’s conversations while in the Beaver County Jail and heard Jenson suggest he would pretend to have cancer to get the judge’s sympathy. They also heard him discuss his close relationship with Swallow and Shurtleff, threatening to "bring that whole office down" if he wasn’t released.

Jenson said Shurtleff owed him a favor because he helped fend off an investigation of Shurtleff by the then-U.S. attorney for Utah, who is related to one of Jenson’s closest employees.

The report also refers to 2013 text exchanges in which Torgensen pressed Shurtleff on his involvement in the Jenson case and trips to Pelican Hill. Shurtleff texted that Jenson "got nothing but jailed and prosecuted." Shurtleff admitted he "made a stupid decision but did nothing illegal or unethical." Shurtleff apologized for his actions and the embarrassment that resulted.

The text messages appear to be the same ones Torgensen offered to the criminal probe, but those investigators wanted the full exchange. When Torgensen balked, they obtained a search warrant that allowed them to seize his phone in January.

Jenson’s Mount Holly case has been turned over to a Utah County prosecutor after the attorney general’s office stepped aside, due to the perceived conflict created by Shurtleff’s actions. Jenson remains in the Davis County Jail.

Shurtleff, Swallow and others remain under criminal investigation by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings.

Shurtleff told KSL Radio’s "Doug Wright Show" on Wednesday that he is eager to answer any questions Gill and Rawlings have. He said he believes the two prosecutors will treat him fairly in their probe but added a warning.

"If I were to be charged," Shurtleff told Wright, "I’m going to win. They’re going to lose. This is not something I’m going to lay down for. And I’m actually looking forward to it [answering prosecutors’ questions]."


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gehrke@sltrib.com

Twitter: @RobertGehrke



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