Utah lawmakers approve $600K settlement for ex-A.G. Mark Shurtleff

Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, once charged with public corruption in office, will receive $600,000 from the state of Utah under the terms of a legal settlement approved Wednesday by legislative leaders.

The settlement, approved by the Legislative Management Committee, stems from corruption charges filed against the three-term officeholder but subsequently dropped in 2016. State law allows for individuals in Shurtleff’s situation to seek reimbursement from the state for their attorneys fees.

David Wolf, an assistant Utah Attorney General, told lawmakers that Shurtleff was seeking more than $1 million from the state. The $600,000 settlement was believed to be fair, Wolf said, “given these circumstances.”

Last month, during a special legislative session, lawmakers approved a $1.5 million settlement for John Swallow, Shurtleff’s hand-picked successor as attorney general, who was acquitted in 2017 of criminal charges.

During the debate of both settlements, lawmakers suggested that amendments to state law could be in order, but that settling was the financially prudent thing to do in order to avoid larger costs to the state’s taxpayers.

“I think we all wish this had turned out a little differently," House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said Wednesday.

Shurtleff confirmed earlier this month that he had accepted the state’s settlement offer.

"I just figured it’s time to resolve that and move on,” he said at the time.