- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who faces nine felony charges in a bribery case, has begun posting videos online that advertise his law practice.

“Take it from me, dealing with the complex criminal legal system can be difficult and intimidating for most people,” Shurtleff says in the first spot, which runs just over a minute and was uploaded to YouTube.

The ad features Shurtleff speaking into the camera as shifting images behind him show police officers, handcuffs and the state courthouse in Salt Lake City, where Shurtleff’s own legal case is playing out.

Shurtleff, 57, told The Associated Press on Monday that while his court case advances, he has legal experience to offer.

“Obviously, I have attorney’s fees. I have a family to feed. And I’m an experienced lawyer and have a lot of contacts, and I want to stay busy,” he said. “I look at these charges as, you know, they’re just that. They’re accusations. We’re dealing with them. In the meantime, I have a lot to offer, and I want to be actively involved in the community still.”

Shurtleff, who served as the state’s top law enforcement officer for a dozen years, faces charges that include bribery, witness and evidence tampering, and obstruction of justice.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Utah State Bar rules allow Shurtleff to take on clients as an attorney while he faces criminal charges of his own. If Shurtleff is convicted, he could be disbarred.

Shurtleff said he has experience as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, but now his criminal case has allowed him to see another side of the justice system.

“I know the system, that’s what I’m offering to people,” Shurtleff said. “And now I know how they might be feeling and may be able to provide a bit more empathy and support in the initial stages of their contact with law enforcement or the criminal justice system.”

He said more ads that will be posted online soon.

After he left office in January 2013, Shurtleff joined a Washington, D.C., law firm. He resigned about six months later, saying the commute and his public speaking engagements were too hard on his family.

He then set up his law firm and a consulting practice that helps people navigate government regulations.

Shurtleff, a Republican, was arrested in July along with his successor and former chief deputy John Swallow, who resigned in late 2013 and faces 13 charges of bribery, evidence tampering and other counts.

Prosecutors said Shurtleff and Swallow accepted money and gifts such as beach vacations and the use of luxury homes and boats while in office.

Neither has entered a plea, but both men have the denied allegations.

Shurtleff’s new online advertisements were first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday.

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