Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff plans to appeal a ruling ordering him to release a letter he sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in which he complained about Brett Tolman, the U.S. Attorney for Utah, The Associated Press reported.
Last June, Shurtleff sent an apparently angry letter to Holder about Tolman. At the time, state officials were upset about a federal round-up of Utahans suspected of illegally selling Indian artifacts plundered from burial grounds. More than 100 armed federal agents conducted raids on the homes of 24 suspects, which state officials argued was over the top. Shurtleff took aim at Tolman, whom he accused of not cooperating with state and local counterparts.
While Shurtleff and his staff have talked in general terms about the letter, they have refused to release copies of it to The Salt Lake City Tribune. The newspaper appealed Shurtleff’s denial to the Utah Records Committee. The committee on Sept. 10 ordered the state attorney general to release the letter. This is the ruling Shurtleff has announced he will appeal.
An attorney for The Tribune criticized Shurtleff for being “willing to waste taxpayer time and money” to appeal the decision. According to Shurtleff, disclosing the letter would invade Tolman’s privacy.