Republican state Representative Doris Goodale "can't explain" her opposition to the bill that was proposed to disband the "Marshal's Office" in the polygamist town of Colorado City, the bill's sponsor tells New Times.
Despite county, state, and federal authorities claiming misconduct in the police force there, Goodale continues to defend it, while refusing to explain her defense to New Times. Now, Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti tells us she doesn't understand why Goodale opposes it, either.
"If she has some comments or suggestions, I would like to hear them," Ugenti says. "I can't mind-read."
We explained at length on Monday Goodale's refusal to explain her opposition to Ugenti's bill, supported by Attorney General Tom Horne, which calls for local police departments to be severely overhauled if half of its police officers have their certifications taken away over the course of eight years. (A previous version of the bill would have dissolved the police department entirely.) This bill would have applied to the Marshal's Office in the Arizona/Utah FLDS community, which used to be home to convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs.
Republican Representative John Kavanagh passed an amendment to the bill before it passed the House last week, which clarifies that every police department starts with a "clean slate," as Kavanagh explained it. Ugenti claims this would've been the case with the original text of the bill, but the amendment just clarifies it, since it was a common concern among legislators.
Therefore, if this bill becomes law, the Marshal's Office wouldn't get overhauled -- unless at least half of the officers have their police certifications revoked in the future.
Goodale still opposed the bill, saying it was a "persecution effort" against Colorado City, which is in her district, and that the claims of corruption in Colorado City's Marshal's Office are "all built on hearsay."
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Ugenti said she's "gone to great lengths to try to satisfy Goodale's complaints" that she raised when the bill was proposed last session, but Goodale's never tried to propose anything that would make the bill acceptable to her.
"If you have a better idea, you gotta come knock on my door," Ugenti says.
That hasn't happened, and it certainly doesn't look good to defend a police agency that's been accused of rampant misconduct by county, state, and federal authorities, including a lawsuit from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, alleging unconstitutional policing.
And, despite Goodale voting no on the bill, she was one of just seven Representatives to do so, and the bill passed the House overwhelmingly. The bill now gets action in the Senate, where it hasn't been acted on yet.