Monday, December 22, 2014

Breaking: Former Top Deputy in Utah Attorney General Office is Fired

We smell remedial legal action looming on the near horizon

Fascinating development in the still-beleaguered Utah Attorney General's office, as the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News report that Kirk Torgerson, a top aide in the Attorney General's office under John Swallow, has been fired after being on paid leave for nine months:
Torgerson has already "lawyered up;"; and we smell remedial legal action looming on the near horizon:
It is unclear if Reyes fired Torgensen for cause. Before becoming chief deputy attorney general under Shurtleff, which is a political appointment, Torgensen had spent years working for the state, a career position. Political appointees can be fired without cause; career employees need a substantiated reason to be terminated.
[Utah A.G] spokeswoman Missy Larsen would not comment on what Torgensen's status was at the time of his dismissal. Torgensen would have been eligible for retirement in August.
If he was a career employee, he can appeal the dismissal to the Career Service Review Office and seek reinstatement.
Beyond that, Tolman contends that Torgensen qualifies for whistleblower protection because he went to law enforcement with concerns about Shurtleff's interaction with Tim Lawson, a Shurtleff friend who has been charged with six felonies related to his trading on his relationship with Shurtleff. "He qualifies as a whistleblower; I've always felt that way," Tolman said. "He's the only one who stood up or tried to stand up to Shurtleff when he was doing some things. He was one of the first in the door with the FBI cooperating."
Our take? We'll go along with attorney Tolman on this:
Brett Tolman, Torgensen's attorney, said Torgensen was terminated as an at-will employee without cause. Tolman called it an unfortunate decision by Reyes.

"I know the attorney general wants to be seen as cleaning house but there's a way to do that without necessarily throwing someone under the bus that shouldn't be thrown. And Kirk Torgensen is that person."
"But to fire him a few days before Christmas and only 8 months before his retirement, I think it's shameful," Tolman said.
Don't let the cat get your tongues...

No comments:

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved