Controversy has surrounded Shurtleff and current Attorney General John Swallow for months as both are accused of soliciting bribes and extortion.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Darl McBride claimed he recorded a conversation with Utah’s top cop in May 2009 where Shurtleff offered him $2 million to stay quiet.
ABC 4 Utah Reporter Cristina Rendon went to McBride’s home Friday. The family confirmed they invested money with a prominent businessman who promised a big return. When McBride never got it he aggressively pursued the businessman who went into hiding.
Shurtleff is accused of offering money to McBride so he would back off the businessman.
“I wish I could say I’m shocked, but I’m not unfortunately,” Maryann Martindale with Alliance for a Better Utah said.
Her non-profit organization advocates for open and transparent government and they have long investigated questionable finances when Shurtleff was in office.
“I’m just angry because this has been something that we’ve seen happen for years and we’ve known about it,” she said. “We’ve talked about it and no one cares.”
The Tribune article said Shurtleff claimed he could get the $2 million from Marc Jenson.
Jenson is a prison inmate who claimed Shurtleff and current Attorney General John Swallow enjoyed themselves at a ritzy golf course in Newport Beach, California on his dime. In exchange, Jenson said the two claimed they would go easy on his case.
“It’s certainly questionable and it's certainly unethical and we'll see if it's illegal,” Martindale said.
ABC 4 Utah asked for a copy of the recorded conversation, but the McBride’s declined due to a pending federal investigation. McBride turned over a copy of the conversation to the FBI in 2009.
The FBI and the Utah Attorney General’s Office had no comment on the case.
Calls to Shurtleff were not immediately returned.