Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Rolly: Shurtleff should know ‘Dirty Harry’ tactics when he sees them

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jun 23 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jun 23 2014 08:39 am

A Utah woman has little sympathy for former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s complaints that a law enforcement raid on his home was excessive and frightened his teenage daughter.

Shurtleff — who along with his successor, former Attorney General John Swallow — is the focus of a criminal corruption investigation — has complained that agents entered the Sandy house with guns drawn and ordered his 17-year-old daughter out of the bathroom with her hands up and a laser directed at her chest.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Shurtleff said such force was unnecessary and called the conduct "Dirty Harry" tactics that traumatized his family.

But a woman named Lisa says Shurtleff didn’t care when a raid was conducted at her home at the behest of the attorney general’s office.

The raid, by the Midvale Police Department, occurred in May 2001. Lisa, who wants her last name withheld because her complaint against the A.G.’s office is still pending, said the officers came into her home at gunpoint, pepper-sprayed her 18-year-old son and threw her 16-year-old son to the ground.

They entered the bedroom, pointed seven loaded guns at Lisa and her 2-year-old daughter and told Lisa to drop the child.

The raid, which was written about several years ago in the online investigative journal Accountability Utah and prompted then-state legislator Matthew Throckmorton to call for an investigation.

The Division of Child and Family Services was investigating allegations of medical neglect stemming from Lisa’s 7-year-old son’s juvenile diabetes.

DCFS had removed the boy and placed him in foster care, where his condition deteriorated, according to Accountability Utah and an affidavit Lisa gave in a court case. The raid, conducted later, was to remove the boy’s little sister, even though she had no medical condition and there was no evidence she was in any danger.

Lisa contends much of her troubles were due to rogue investigators and an overly aggressive assistant in the A.G.’s office.


story continues below
story continues below

When she confronted Shurtleff about the aggressive nature of his assistants and the over-the-top raid that terrorized her family, he told her he would look into it and get back to her.

He never did, she said.

Lisa is not the only one shouting double standard on Shurtleff.

Washington Post blogger Radley Balko responded to Shurtleff’s complaints with a column headlined "Aggressive police raids for thee, but not for me."

"It’s amazing," Balko wrote, "how quickly a politician can change his position when he becomes a victim of aggressive government policies he previously supported."

He referred to a Shurtleff task force that sent armed police to raid businesses suspected of employing undocumented workers. The officers also went after people suspected of having pirated CDs at the urging of a lobbyist organization, the Recording Industry Association of America, which gave Shurtleff an award for his efforts.

Constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley similarly criticized Shurtleff’s alleged hypocrisy in his blog, noting that the then-attorney general condoned aggressive tactics used against his clients, the polygamist Brown family, in the "Sister Wives" case.

prolly@sltrib.com



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
Videos
Jobs
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.