Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Stuff of Movies

This is the stuff of a good John Grisham novel.  A few months ago, Sim Gill, the Salt Lake County district attorney decided to file formal charges against former Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, and disgraced (former) Attorney General, John Swallow.  The charges, both felony and misdemeanor, were for various crimes:- accepting bribes, interfering with criminal investigations, and various other acts of corruption.  For a list of the charges go to this article.

I met Bishop Swallow once.  He seemed like a nice guy.  He said he came from polygamous stock and would never intentionally harm polygamists.  I guess it doesn't matter any more.  He's likely to go to prison.

Shurtleff is another proposition.  He has always seemed to me to be a bit imperious and self-serving.  You always want to assume the best of your political representatives (unless they are Harry Reid [a relative of mine] or Nancy Pelosi).  I guess when you are an ambitious Mormon attorney and politician, it is easy to get tempted into corruption.  Shurtleff has had his share of adversity - months in an Ilizarov frame, colon cancer, heart attacks, a troubled daughter, and more.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I am wondering what the mystical meaning is in this grand story.

Shurtleff was the one who, in 2005, executed the takeover of the (FLDS's) UEP trust, handing over day-to-day control of the trust to his corrupt crony, Bruce Wisan.  Wisan has recently quit his law firm job and his role as UEP Trust fiduciary in the wake of his public shaming for getting caught with a prostitute and lying about it. 

This is the stuff of movies.  I would cast Russell Crowe and Alec Baldwin.

I think the irony of it is the hypocrisy - the fact that Shurtleff championed his holy war on the Fundamentalist Mormons (for their alleged criminality), shopping Utah's stupid anti-bigamy statute to Texas, feigning good will towards us, all the while thinking only of his own personal advancement and political career.  Now, as I predicted, Shurtleff's is the fate of Governor Pyle, only worse.  He is likely to go to prison, hopefully among the felons he put away.

One of Shurtleff's errands for the blue suits at 50 E. North Temple was to keep the polygamists under control.  Thankfully the Church has no use for him any more.

Shurtleff's and Swallow's successor, AG Sean Reyes, has a few more days left to announce whether he intends to appeal Judge Waddoups' recent final ruling in favor of the Kody Brown family and the voiding of Utah's bigamy statute's unenforceable anti-cohabitation clause.  Let's hope that Reyes has some political corruption skeletons in his closet so that he too can be shamed for making war on the saints.

The drama continues.



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