SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Attorney General's Office announced today it will remove itself from prosecution of the criminal case against Marc Sessions Jenson.
Jenson and his co-defendant, Stephen R. Jenson, are currently charged with multiple counts of communications fraud and money-laundering in conjunction with the failed business venture in Beaver County known as the Mount Holly Club.
"While there is no legal or factual basis to disqualify the office, the state acknowledges that the defendant's allegations have disrupted these proceedings and created at least the appearance of impropriety which cannot be overcome through other means. It is in the interest of justice for this office to recuse itself from further prosecution and return the proper focus of the case to the conduct of the Defendants," stated the A.G.'s motion filed today asking the court to permit the withdrawal.
Jenson has filed a battery of motions and other allegations levied against many member of the Attorney General's Office, including former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and current Attorney General John Swallow. The A.G.'s Office has filed its response, denying the allegations of conflict of interest and misconduct and asking the judge to deny the motion on those grounds.
"Sometimes, perception becomes reality," said Assistant Attorney General Scott W. Reed, who is currently prosecuting the case, said in a released statement. "What the defendant Jenson has successfully done is create a diversion which cannot be rectified. It is time to allow this prosecution to proceed and place the focus back in its proper place, which is on the conduct of the defendants and providing justice to the victims."
A substitute prosecutor is being sought, and will be announced at the next court hearing scheduled on Aug. 5 if the judge permits the voluntary recusal.