Warrant issued for former Utah AG's phone records

Dec. 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM   |   0 comments

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Investigators looking into possible bribery have obtained a warrant for former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's cellphone records, court records indicate.

State and county authorities want to examine the record of phone calls and text messages on two phones Shurtleff used, as well as phones used by a friend of his who has already been charged in the investigation, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Citing court documents, the newspaper said a former assistant attorney general asserted Shurtleff ordered her to offer a lenient plea bargain for Marc Sessions Jenson, who was being investigated for securities fraud. The assistant prosecutor, Charlene Barlow, said she refused to offer Jenson a better deal.

Jenson told investigators Shurtleff assured him at one point "he would never have been in trouble in the first place" if he had been a contributor to Shurtleff's campaign, the report said.

The search warrant also covers phone records for Tim Lawson, a friend of Shurtleff's, who has been charged with tax evasion and obstruction of justice, the newspaper said.

Shurtleff's successor as attorney general, John Swallow, resigned this month, 10 months after taking office. Swallow's campaign finances have been under investigation but he maintains he has done nothing wrong.

A lawyer for the Utah House committee that had been investigating Swallow said in October data had gone missing from his email account, official laptop and desktop computers, personal computer and cellphone, the Tribune reported.

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