Two top officials with the Utah Department of Corrections on Wednesday denied an inmate's allegations of retaliation for speaking publicly about his interactions with Utah Attorney General John Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff.
During the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee hearing, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, asked Director Rollin Cook about media reports on assertions by attorneys for Marc Sessions Jenson that their client "had been inappropriately or vindictively placed in a cell with a repeated gang member" after he spoke to FBI agents and reporters about his refusal to go along with a "shakedown" orchestrated by Swallow and Shurtleff. That refusal led the attorney general's office to file new felony charges against him, Jenson claims.
In a court document filed Saturday and reported on by The Salt Lake Tribune and other media Jenson's attorneys allege their client was "unexpectedly" moved on June 4 to the prison's Oquirrh 1 unit "where serious violent offenders are housed." That "precarious" housing move came after Jenson spoke to reporters, they said. Jenson's attorneys said Jenson had to be "extracted by authorities in Davis County" and placed in protective custody at that jail to "ensure his life and safety."