E-mail suggests Killpack may have asked AG for favor

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It appears former Utah Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack and his attorney may have been looking for a favor from the Utah Attorney General's Office related to Killpack's DUI arrest and driver's license suspension.

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An e-mail chain obtained by KSL Newsradio shows Killpack's attorney on Aug. 23 sent a message to the attorney general's legislative liaison saying: "Sheldon thinks you might be able to persuade Shurtleff to help w (sic)the length of his license suspension. Anything to that?"

Shurtleff later followed up: "John is correct. No way. Especially with him challenging the stop."

The e-mails were exchanged the day before a bench trial was scheduled to determine whether Killpack could get his driver's license back. It has been rescheduled for Sept. 17.

The case is being handled in the Salt Lake County Justice Court. The attorney general's office has no involvement.

Legal analyst Marguerite Driessen, who has taught ethics, says asking the attorney general for help isn't illegal and may not be unethical, but it is at least "fishy."

"You'd think that these communications would be taking place within the Salt Lake County Justice Court as opposed to an attempt to involve the state attorney general," Driessen said. "Does that really have a place in the efficient and ethical administration of a criminal justice case at the county level? I would say no, that's not the place for this."

Killpack was stopped near 700 East and 3300 South on the morning of Jan. 15. His blood alcohol level was 0.11, above the legal limit of 0.08. Investigators say Killpack also struggled through a field sobriety test and declined a Breathalyzer.

Killpack has pleaded not guilty to the charges facing him. He resigned from the Utah Legislature the day after his arrest.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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