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Shurtleff surrenders soapbox
Politics » Gregarious, independent A.G. known for impromptu outbursts is off to work at a law firm; his spotlight-shunning successor will be a sharp contrast.


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"He is literally a hero in the Hispanic community," Robles said. "Even in the worst moments of his party and the chaos of the anti-immigration movement, he has always been on the same message and I have tons of respect for him doing that."

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Moving on » Swallow met with Shurtleff in his office Thursday afternoon and noted that, as attorney general, he’ll take a pay cut from $71 an hour to $49 an hour. Shurtleff countered that, when he joins the Troutman Sanders law firm, he’ll make a far bigger salary.

But he said he wonders about the impact he’ll have on lives. At a recent meeting of Safety Net — a group established in 2003 by Shurtleff to build bridges between polygamists and opponents — Anne Wilde, a polygamy proponent, made him a scrapbook and hugged him and had her photo taken with him.

Shurtleff, at times getting teary-eyed as he was lauded at the meeting, quoted Rudyard Kipling’s "The Ballad of East and West" — a poem about enemies finally meeting. He smiled at an update about a boy he knew who was abandoned by his polygamy-practicing mother and is now an adult in the U.S. Navy and who just bought a house.

"I’ll never have anything that compares to this job — knowing you’ve had an impact one way or another on people’s lives, saving people’s lives … whether it’s the work we did on meth or substance abuse or suicide prevention or Internet crimes against children ... that gives me great satisfaction," he said.

One thing about the public job he won’t miss is the constant scrutiny by some news reporters he believes are hostile to him. Shurtleff is a big defender of the media in general but believes some of the coverage about campaign donors who have been crosswise with state regulators or charged by federal prosecutors has been malicious and irresponsible.

Still, when asked if he would ever run for office again, the outgoing attorney general and former Salt Lake County commissioner said he wouldn’t rule it out. He also said he hasn’t made any plans to "get out, make money and come back in six years."

That, coincidently, would be when Sen. Orrin Hatch would finish what he has said will be his last term in the U.S. Senate.


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dmontero@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davemontero



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