Friday, December 13, 2013

Baking Up Trouble

Timothy Lawson, is a name dropper.  Constantly evoking the nature of his friendship with former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.  In fact he did it so much in casual conversation, that his easy use of the AG's name, would eventually, one attorney in the AG's office prophetically predicted, "bring down the whole house of cards."

Lawson was charged yesterday with 6 felonies, including tax charges and trying to intimidate potential witnesses, just to name a few.  The Davis and Salt Lake County District Attorneys alleged that Lawson was a bit of a political fixer.  He would get paid thousands of dollars by a crooked businessman, Marc Jenson, to try and curry favor with Utah's top cop.  Jenson, although serving time in  jail on fraud charges bought by Shurleff's office, was paying for Shurleff, and his deputy John Swallow to stay at a swanky California villa.  Lawson allegedly did all the dirty work, using Jenson's money to pay for Swallow and Shurtleff, to get massages, and gorge themselves on fresh fish pulled right from the Pacific Ocean while the squinted into the soothing West Coast sun.

Lawson, according to charging documents, was quick to throw out Shurtleff's name when he and Jenson, didn't like what someone was doing.  Lawson allegedly told one man that he was Mark Shurtleff's Porter Rockwell, referring to the notorious and colorful "Avenging angel of Mormondom." Rockwell was the body guard for both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, some historians say Rockwell, was quick to do the bidding of the two men, sometimes violently.  Rockwall was said to have tried to assassinate the governor of Missouri by shooting Lilburn Boggs through a window in his study, Rockwell was arrested, tried and acquitted of all charges.

Unlike Rockwell, it appears Lawson's most active weapon was his mouth.  One neighbor told me, that his son had a playground tiff with one of Lawson's daughters, Lawson allegedly called up this neighbor and warned him to keep his boy in check because Lawson, "Is good friends with Mark Shurtleff."  "Really?"  The balding man exclaimed, shaking his head, as he watched a handful of FBI agents scurry around the exterior of Lawson's expansive, Tudor home.

"He's a wheeler-dealer," the neighbor told me as he walked into his home, looking back one more time at federal agents as they rolled large plastic crates into Lawson's house.

Lawson, is, of all things, a baker.  He apparently does a sizable business, selling gluten-free bakery goods from right inside his home.  He has dozens, if not hundreds of large, yellow food crates stacked high on his front porch, and at least two large cargo trucks, crowded tightly into his driveway.  Even as a simple baker, Lawson found an opportunity to puff up his cream puffs, by making mention of the Attorney General in the "About me" section on his bakery website:

They see him as the “Shield of Truth” against injustice, the voice of the faceless masses and the “Sword of Justice” for the people’s right to live in a free Democracy. To me, he was my dear friend, my sounding board and my confidant that always listened, always cared, and always tolerated me.

It's customary to mention when you started your business and why, but it seems a bit odd to expound romantically about the prudence of the attorney general on a website that sells multi-grain dinner rolls.

"What's going on in there!?"  An older woman says, darting her blonde head into the open front window of our news truck.  "Lawson's been arrested," I say,  as I prepare for my 5 PM liveshot.  "Good!" she folds her arms with satisfaction.  I thought she was excited about Lawson's incarceration because of all the news about he and the AG's office, but that wasn't the case, "Hopefully now we can do something about all this bakery business baloney." The woman claims Lawson has 30 employees who report to his HOUSE for duty everyday, crowding the winding, narrow streets outside his home.  "I have no idea how this has continued to go on," she says, almost shouting.

Lawson has been running this business out of his house for some time say neighbors, and despite repeated complaints to the city, he continues to produce gluten-free sourdough bread and pecan caramel bars from in his kitchen.

Perhaps Lawson's "wheeler-dealing" allows him to continue to run a large bakery in a residential area or maybe he tossed around a certain name to help keep production running, either way, as he sits in jail trying to come up with $250,000 dollars bail, it is clear, Lawson has baked up a batch of trouble for himself, and it's possible, others might get a taste of that as well.


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