Utah AG says he's loathed by Mormon sect

By Chris Rizo | Apr 24, 2008

Mark Shurtleff

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said leaders of the nation's best known polygamous sect have called him the "anti-Christ" and prayed for his death after a motorcycle accident last year.

Speaking at a Salt Lake County Bar Association panel Wednesday, the attorney general said leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints urged their flock to "fast and pray" for his death after he crashed on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle

Also on the Bar Association panel was Rod Parker, a lawyer and spokesman for the FLDS Church. He disputed the account, saying, "Mark, try to come up with facts," The Deseret Morning News reported Thursday.

Shurtleff said the information was relayed to him through a confidential informant, the newspaper reported.

The Republican attorney general said he has been wrongly criticized for not aggressively pursuing polygamists, as authorities did in Texas when they raided the massive compound belonging to the FLDS sect.

But he said the FLDS church would not be in Texas "if we hadn't gone after them here. No doubt about it."

He added that Utah lacks the resources to handle a raid the size of the one performed at the FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas, which followed complaints of sexual and physical abuse at the ranch.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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