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Shurtleff to undergo knee surgery
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff thought the surgery scheduled Wednesday for his busted knee would be a quiet affair.

It was — until he hit "reply all" on an email Tuesday that detailed his weekly schedule.

"I'm now scheduled for surgery tomorrow and out rest of week but it's okay if we don't say anything about that," Shurtleff wrote — ostensibly to staffer Ryan Bruckman. "Want to just leave it like this?"

Realizing the email had gone out to members of the media, the state's top lawyer sent out a follow-up email.

"Oops. You all now know of my surgery," Shurtleff wrote. "Paul Murphy suggests that I also have the doctor examine my 'Reply All' thumb."

The miscue isn't a first for Shurtleff.

In 2009, he inadvertently announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate in a series of garbled tweets while on a trade mission to Israel. He later pulled down the tweets, saying he thought he was responding privately to one individual.

In May 2011 while in the hospital being treated for cancer, Shurtleff tweeted an emotionally-driven, 140-character outburst that said his office would not appeal the exoneration of Debra Brown, a Utah woman who had originally been sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Days later, Shurtleff changed his mind — explaining "there was a lot of sentiment, a lot of feeling. A lot of people thought maybe enough was enough. I was one of those."

Shurtleff, a prolific tweeter at the time, began to ratchet back on his Twitter posts.

Murphy, Shurtleff's spokesman, said the attorney general dislocated his artificial knee Saturday night after slipping in the rain. It was the same knee he'd destroyed in a motorcycle accident in 2007.

After the inadvertent release of the email, Shurtleff explained "it was a 10 on the pain scale" and said the surgery was going to repair ligament damage.

"I plan on walking on it by the weekend," Shurtleff said.

dmontero@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davemontero

Politics • Attorney General again makes announcement he says wasn't meant for public consumption.
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