Mark Shurtleff

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Mark Shurtleff
Mark Shurtleff.jpg
19th Attorney General of Utah
In office
January 2001 – January 2013
Preceded by Jan Graham
Succeeded by John Swallow
Personal details
Born (1957-08-09) August 9, 1957 (age 57)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) M'Liss Shurtleff
Children 5
Profession Lawyer
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Website Shurtleff for Senate in 2010

Mark Shurtleff (born August 9, 1957)is Founder and Senior Partner of the Shurtleff Law Firm and Founder and Principal of a legal and regulatory compliance consulting practice, The Shurtleff Group. He is a former partner in the Washington DC office of the national law firm Troutman Sanders.[1] He started this position January 2013 and resigned in June 2013 to spend more time in Utah and start his own practice. He previously served in elective office as a Salt Lake County Commissioner and twelve years as Attorney General of the state of Utah. Shurtleff is the author of the critically acclaimed 500 page Historic Novel, AM I NOT A MAN, THE DRED SCOTT STORY.[2] [3]

Education and early career[edit]

Shurtleff attended Brighton High School (Cottonwood Heights, Utah), Brigham Young University, University of Utah College of Law, and University of San Diego School of Law. Shurtleff served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peru.[4]

He began his legal career by serving four years in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG), then was a lawyer in Southern California.[5]

Public service[edit]

Shurtleff was a Deputy County Attorney and a Commissioner of Salt Lake County. He then became an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Utah.

Shurtleff was elected Attorney General in November 2000, and was re-elected in November 2004 and November 2008. He is the first Attorney General in Utah to win re-election for a third term.[6]

As Attorney General, Shurtleff sided with school voucher proponents when he issued an official legal opinion stating that under a second law (HB174), private school vouchers would still be funded even if voters rejected the primary voucher bill (HB 148) in a November referendum.[7] On June 8, 2007, it took the Utah Supreme Court only hours to rule unanimously that the second law (HB 174) would also be nullified if voters reject the primary voucher bill. .[8]

U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On May 12, 2009, Shurtleff inadvertently disclosed, via a Twitter message, that he planned to enter the 2010 Republican primary.[9] On November 4, 2009 Shurtleff ended his campaign for U.S. Senate in order to spend more time with his daughter, who was experiencing severe mental health problems.[10]


Shurtleff has been accused of corruption and bribery, allowing political donations or personal relationships to affect regulatory or prosecutorial decisions.[11][12][13][14] He has also faced allegations of taking donations from companies he knows to be in the midst of legal proceedings for which he has responsibility.[15] These allegations have been investigated by the FBI and the United States Department of Justice, who found no basis for prosecution.[16]

However, present Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has opted to file his own charges against Shurtleff.[17] As of August 2014, the state's case is still pending trial.

Recent activities[edit]

Shurtleff was a speaker at B'nai Shalom's semiannual conference in April 2010.[18] In September 2010, Shurtleff testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act,[19] an act that seeks to reverse the effects of Granholm v. Heald, a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled unconstitutional state laws that permitted in-state wineries to ship wine directly to consumers, but prohibited out-of-state wineries from doing the same. Shurtleff's remarks[19] were drafted by the general counsel of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, who also arranged for Shurtleff's trip to Washington, D.C.[20][21]

Election history[edit]

Utah Attorney General Election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Shurtleff 435,988 57
Democratic Reed Richards 299,683 40
Utah Attorney General Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Shurtleff 614,742 68.4 +11.4
Democratic Gregory Skordas 255,779 28.4
Utah Attorney General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mark Shurtleff 650,147 69.3 +0.9
Democratic Jean Welch 249,492 26.6

Personal life[edit]

Shurtleff is married with five children. He is an Eagle Scout and is fluent in Spanish.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Arizona Republic Article
  5. ^ a b Lisa Riley Roche (October 18, 2004). "Shurtleff enjoys public service". Deseret Morning News. 
  6. ^ Ben Winslow (March 20, 2008). "Shurtleff seeks re-election". Deseret Morning News. 
  7. ^ Lisa Riley Roche & Erin Stewart (March 28, 2007). "2 voucher laws at risk? Shurtleff says only one affected by referendum". Deseret Morning News. 
  8. ^ Tiffany Erickson & Bob Bernick Jr (June 9, 2007). "Justices Rule Voucher Amendment cannot stand on its own". Deseret Morning News. 
  9. ^ Aaron Blake (May 13, 2009). "Whoops: Utah official accidentally tweets Senate bid". The Hill. 
  10. ^ "Shurtleff pulls out of Senate race against Bennett". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  11. ^ Eric Peterson (2008-09-24). "Drug Deal". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  12. ^ Lee Davidson (2008-05-27). "Marc Sessions Jenson fraud trial postponed pending plea deal". Deseret News. 
  13. ^ Lee Davidson and Bob Bernick Jr. (2008-05-24). "Allegations swirling in fraud case". Deseret News. 
  14. ^ Robert Gehrke (2013-05-23). "Secret recording Mark Shurtleff offers 2 million to silence critic". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  15. ^ "Mark Shurtleff". 2011-02-17. 
  16. ^ Romboy, Dennis (September 12, 2013). "No federal charges coming against John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff". Deseret News. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  17. ^ Crofts, Natalie (July 15, 2014). "Swallow, Shurtleff taken into custody". KSL. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ Mormon Times April 2, 2010
  19. ^ a b Hearing on: H.R. 5034, the "Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010" from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which includes a transcript of Shurtleff's prepared remarks
  20. ^ Shurtleff: Beer group drafted my testimony, a September 30, 2010 article from The Salt Lake Tribune
  21. ^ Utah AG Testimony: Testament to Lobbying Ties?, a September 30, 2010 Washington Wire blog post from The Wall Street Journal

External links[edit]

Media related to Mark Shurtleff at Wikimedia Commons