Arizona News


AZ AG: Disband Marshals' Office in Polygamous Conclave

(KFYI News) – Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking a federal judge to order the town marshal's office disbanded in the twin polygamous enclaves of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, and make the local sheriff's office the only legal law enforcement authority in those towns.

Horne made his suggestion to the judge as one of the legal remedies the judge can impose as a result of a $5 million dollar judgment against the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS church).  The FLDS is a breakaway sect from the mainstream Mormon (LDS) church and still practices polygamy and, Horne says, the enslavement of young girls (minors under 18, sometimes as young as 12 or 13) as wives and sex slaves for the towns' older male residents.

The FLDS enclave in Colorado City and Hildale has allowed the marshal's office to enforce the law as it sees fit, and has been found to openly discriminate against residents who are not members of the FLDS.  

Since becoming attorney general in early 2011, Horne has been pushing for legal action against the towns and their leaders.  He has asked for, and endorsed, bills in the legislature that would transfer all law enforcement authority for Colorado City to the Mohave County Sheriff's Department, but those bills have never passed.

"So I'm asking the federal judge to require that the policing be done by the sheriff and that it be taken away from the marshals," Horne says.

Horne says he's optimistic that the judge will grant his request.  "One of the things that's going our way is that one of the marshals has turned to our side and testified that he lied at the trial where he said that they weren't discriminating and now he's saying they intentionally discriminate to protect members of the dominant church when they committed crimes and to harm non-members of the church."



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