Utah AG, Mark Shurtleff – Friend or Foe?
In the wake of Warren Jeffs’ conviction and life sentence of sexually assaulting children, Mark Shurtleff has taken the opportunity to blow his own horn — claiming credit for the outcome. But which side of this is Shurtleff really on? Shurtleff has taken many actions that are clearly sympathetic to the FLDS lifestyle of abuses. Judge Lindberg recently issued an order directing Shurtleff’s office to pay the administration and professional fees for the UEP Trust because of Shurtleff’s obstruction of the case.
Take a look at some of Shurtleff’s comments (sometimes contradictory) over the years:
- Shurtleff said some have criticized Utah for not going after Jeffs hard enough, but he disagrees. “The only reason he is in Texas is because we were going after him in Utah,” he said. “We did what we could, and we feel we were right in that (2007) conviction.” Link (August 2011)
- Utah legal authorities will investigate the woman’s claim, state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said. But he said Texas authorities have told him there is no evidence Jeffs had sex with some of his teenage brides in Utah. Link (August 2011)
- “I knew and understood him to be that kind of man,” Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told Fox 13 on Tuesday. “We just had to have that evidence to do it. Texas finally had that evidence.”… “We’re anxious to get our hands on some of that evidence down there in Texas and see if there’s any additional crimes that we may have to look at prosecuting here,” Shurtleff said. Link (August 2011)
- Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he’s delighted with the conviction of Warren Jeffs in Texas. Shurtleff has been waiting for this kind of verdict against Jeffs for 10 years, ever since the state served its first warrants against him in 2001. …”He obviously believed he was above all that. He was above the court. He always thought of himself as not answerable to any earthly authorities, and now he is,” Shurtleff said….Shurtleff says he’s willing to go through another trial against Jeffs, and he feels he has a solid case. Link
- Shurtleff said the evidence was “so overwhelming” that he thinks Jeffs would have been convicted regardless. His primary hope, now, is that members of the FLDS Church, who hold Jeffs up as a prophet, are told the truth about their leader. Link
- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff also worried about how FLDS faithful would perceive the Texas raid. In an interview with the Deseret Morning News on Friday, Shurtleff said, “Heavens no!” he would not raid Hildale and Colorado City. …”We have no evidence that there are more child victims (in Utah) since Warren Jeffs disappeared,” Shurtleff said. Link (May 2008)
- Texas child protective services officials have said in court that the children on the YFZ Ranch were growing up in a culture that lends itself to abuse. Shurtleff said he can’t reach the same conclusion. Link (2008)
- Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says, “Whether you think we should or not, it can’t be done.” He says he’s facing new criticism, alongside Arizona’s Attorney General, that they haven’t done enough to prosecute polygamists. He cites a lack of infrastructure — things like room in prisons and foster care homes — as one of the reasons Utah will not be following in Texas’ footsteps. Link (2008)
- Stung by critics who say Utah has done little about the polygamy problem, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff suggested Utah’s crackdown on abuses within the closed societies may have ultimately led to the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church’s Texas compound….”They wouldn’t have gone to Texas if they hadn’t been running away from us,” he said in a recent interview with the Deseret News. “They went to Texas to flee when we started cracking down.” Link
- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has said his office will not prosecute bigamy among the FLDS unless someone is committing additional felonies, such as sexual abuse or fraud. Strickland said the Texas attorney general has not made such a declaration. Link
- The documents (600 pages of Warren’s dictations) have found their way into the hands of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who has been reading them with interest. …. “It’s very cryptic and I’m not sure what it all means,” he told the Deseret News on Monday. … Asked if he had found any evidence of crimes, Shurtleff said: “no.”Link (February 10, 2009)
- “I haven’t received a lot of stuff that has Utah implications,” Shurtleff said. Link (April 4, 2009)
- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said in a recent interview with Fox 13 he has had no evidence presented to him of child bride marriages in Utah since 2004, when Utah made child bigamy a second-degree felony. Link (April 2011)