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 56)
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 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, and previously served as attorney general of the state of Utah.

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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. .[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]


The media have reported allegations that Shurtleff allows political donations or personal relationships to affect regulatory or prosecutorial decisions. [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] 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.[33]

In May 2013, the media reported on a secret recording in which Mark Shurtleff was heard offering a businessman, Darl McBride, $2 million if he dropped his ongoing battle with another prominent businessman, Mark Robbins. McBride recorded the conversation and turned it over to federal agents, in part of a wide ranging investigation also involving John Swallow, who was then the incumbent Utah Attorney General.[34][35]


On July 15, 2014, the FBI arrested Shurtleff, along with former Attorney General John Swallow, and charged him with seven second-degree felonies for a pattern of unlawful activity, receiving or soliciting bribes and accepting gift, compensation or loan when prohibited and improper use of an employees position, as well as three third-degree felonies included tampering with a witness, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. The arrest came after a search warrant was executed on the Shurtleff residence in June 2014.[36]

Recent activities[edit]

Shurtleff was a speaker at B'nai Shalom's semiannual conference in April 2010.[37] In September 2010, Shurtleff testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act,[38] 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[38] were drafted by the general counsel of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, who also arranged for Shurtleff's trip to Washington, D.C.[39][40]

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.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Arizona Republic Article
  3. ^ a b Lisa Riley Roche (October 18, 2004). "Shurtleff enjoys public service". Deseret Morning News. 
  4. ^ Ben Winslow (March 20, 2008). "Shurtleff seeks re-election". Deseret Morning News. 
  5. ^ Lisa Riley Roche & Erin Stewart (March 28, 2007). "2 voucher laws at risk? Shurtleff says only one affected by referendum". Deseret Morning News. 
  6. ^ Tiffany Erickson & Bob Bernick Jr (June 9, 2007). "Justices Rule Voucher Amendment cannot stand on its own". Deseret Morning News. 
  7. ^ Aaron Blake (May 13, 2009). "Whoops: Utah official accidentally tweets Senate bid". The Hill. 
  8. ^ "Shurtleff pulls out of Senate race against Bennett". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ Eric Peterson (2008-09-24). "Drug Deal". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  10. ^ Eric Peterson (2009-04-08). "Called Into Question". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  11. ^ Eric Peterson (2008-06-18). "The $50,000 Question". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  12. ^ Jens Dana (2008-08-03). "States target sales tactics of Utah alarm company". Deseret News. 
  13. ^ Lee Davidson (2008-05-27). "Marc Sessions Jenson fraud trial postponed pending plea deal". Deseret News. 
  14. ^ Lee Davidson and Bob Bernick Jr. (2008-05-24). "Allegations swirling in fraud case". Deseret News. 
  15. ^ Lee Davidson (2008-05-30). "Victims to get $4.1 million in new deal". Deseret News. 
  16. ^ Bob Bernick Jr. and Lee Davidson (2008-05-07). "Payday lenders are generous to Shurtleff". Deseret News. 
  17. ^ Debbie Dujanovic (2008-01-16). "Questions raised over gifts given to Attorney General". KSL News. 
  18. ^ Nate Carlisle (2009-09-10). "Records panel says Shurtleff must share letter contents". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  19. ^ Kathy Mckitrick (2009-09-10). "Controversial Shurtleff donor draws scrutiny". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  20. ^ Kathy Mckitrick (2009-09-03). "Bennett says Shurtleff may have broken election law". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  21. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-09-09). "Shurtleff makes no apologies for his campaign fundraising". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  22. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-09-04). "Some Shurtleff backers have run afoul of the law". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  23. ^ Lee Davidson (2009-09-16). "Shurtleff says Bennett should file complaint, or be quiet". Deseret News. 
  24. ^ Chris Vanocur (2009-08-18). "Did Shurtleff ask Huntsman to fire Utah’s Commerce Director?". ABC 4 Salt Lake City. 
  25. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-08-19). "Ex-gov Huntsman says he was pressured, but refused to fire commerce chief". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  26. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-06-25). "Utah lawmaker wanted heads to roll for ‘my friend'". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  27. ^ Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board (2009-07-23). "Koerber case". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  28. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-07-16). "Agency feud may hamper Utah fraud probes". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  29. ^ Robert Gehrke (2009-09-19). "Commerce had a mountain of evidence in alleged Ponzi scheme". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  30. ^ Eric S. Peterson (2010-03-10). "Mark Shurtleff: Ethical Questions". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  31. ^ Robert Gehrke (2013-02-12). "Swallow suggested cash in exchange for protection, sources say". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  32. ^ Tom Harvey (2013-03-02). "Video of former A. G. Mark Shurtleff to be used against company". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  33. ^ "Mark Shurtleff". 2011-02-17. 
  34. ^ Robert Gehrke (2013-05-23). "Secret recording Mark Shurtleff offers 2 million to silence critic". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  35. ^ Robert Gehrke (2013-05-06). "U.S. attorney for Utah steps aside from Swallow investigation". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  36. ^ Crofts, Natalie (July 15, 2014). "Swallow, Shurtleff taken into custody". KSL. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  37. ^ Mormon Times April 2, 2010
  38. ^ 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
  39. ^ Shurtleff: Beer group drafted my testimony, a September 30, 2010 article from The Salt Lake Tribune
  40. ^ 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