Mark Shurtleff

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff underwent more surgery on Monday for an infection he developed in a severely injured leg.

The attorney general has developed a staph infection, spokesman Paul Murphy said. Fortunately, the infection it is not the antibiotic resistant strain they had feared.

"It's still not a good thing to have, but they can use regular antibiotics to deal with it," he said.

This latest surgery was to ensure that the infection had been cleaned out and had not spread to the plates and screws in Shurtleff's leg. The surgery is Shurtleff's seventh since he injured his leg in a motorcycle crash last year.

Shurtleff was preparing for a charity ride for a slain police officers memorial when he slid on a patch of gravel on a Lindon street, laying a Harley Davidson motorcycle down on top of his left leg. It shattered the bones in his lower leg.

After spending time in traction, a wheelchair and on crutches, Shurtleff was recently seen limping. He often brushed off staffers' concerns about his health, saying that he would rest later. On Friday, his family rushed him to the hospital after he complained of being in excruciating pain.

Shurtleff will be out of the office for the next six weeks, Murphy said.

"He gets to be with his family. He'll take a rest," he said.

Shurtleff's health problems will not affect his re-election bid, said his campaign manager.

"We're still fundraising, and we're still out there getting supporters," Jason Powers told the Deseret News on Monday.

Powers said the campaign has operated pretty autonomously, with staffers able to text-message Shurtleff if they need his input. No campaign events have had to be rescheduled, he said.

"He's been recovering off and on from these minor surgeries," Powers said. "It hasn't slowed us down then, and we don't expect it to slow us down now."

Shurtleff faces Democratic challenger Jean Welch Hill and Libertarian candidate Andy McCullough in November.


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com