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Tom Horne Attempting to Disband Police Force in Polygamist Towns

Attorney General Tom Horne is asking a federal judge to disband the police department that patrols the polygamist towns of Colorado City and Hildale, on the Arizona-Utah border.

Horne, in addition to all of his extracurricular activities, has been a long-time critic of the "marshal's office," which he claims operates "as the de facto law enforcement arm of the FLDS Church."

See also:
-Colorado City Sued by Justice Department
-Michelle Ugenti's Anti-Colorado City Bill Gets No Love from State Senate

Horne's action comes as a result of a civil case won by a non-FLDS couple who claimed -- like many before them have -- that the church and the town are one and the same, and they discriminate against non-FLDS members.

The Department of Justice has also filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the town, claiming widespread discrimination against non-FLDS members. Allegations are generally that the police department is more loyal to imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs than the law. Allegations of crooked law enforcement include a door-to-door roundup and slaughter of all the dogs in town, to marshal's deputies threatening to arrest non-FLDS children for playing at a public park, and much more.

In the civil case against the towns, Cooke v. Colorado City, the current chief of police at the marshal's office, Helaman Barlow, went through the trial denying members of the marshal's office were more loyal to the church than the law. Barlow told a different story in a deposition with the Justice Department, after seeking and being granted immunity from prosecution:

From the transcript of the DoJ deposition.
From the transcript of the DoJ deposition.

According to a motion filed by Horne, Barlow "confessed under oath that he had concern that the other deputies in the Marshal's Office were more loyal to Lyle Jeffs (the local FLDS bishop and brother of jailed FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs) than they were to their oath of office."

Barlow proceeded to admit to incredible amounts of corruption at the marshal's office. From Horne's filing:

 

8. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed under oath that he had lied during his trial testimony in this case when he denied that the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal's Office discriminated in favor of members of the FLDS Church and against non-members of the FLDS Church.

9. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow further confessed that he in fact knew of and had personally witnessed his deputies discriminating in favor of members of the FLDS Church and against non-members of the FLDS Church.

10. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that, for decades, the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal's Office would "slow walk" or otherwise obstruct the activities of outside law enforcement agencies in Hildale and Colorado City in order to protect members of the FLDS Church or others whom the FLDS Church cared about. "Slow walking" involved announcing over the police radio when outside law enforcement were looking for someone in town so that FLDS Church members listening to the radio broadcasts could help protect the targeted FLDS Church member.

11. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow also confessed that the FLDS Church played an active role in selecting who would attend the police academy, under both his administration and the administration of at least the two prior Marshals/Chiefs of Police.

12. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow also confessed that during his tenure as Chief he had had to stop his deputies on numerous occasions from charging non-members of the FLDS Church with crimes because his deputies did not have the probable cause to do so.

13. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that Colorado City Town Manager, David Darger, had materially altered a police report to the detriment of the subject non-member of the FLDS Church and to the benefit of the FLDS Church member deputy.

14. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had lied during his trial testimony in this case when he denied any knowledge or intent that his secret tape recording of a meeting with Texas law enforcement authorities would be transported to federal fugitive Warren Jeffs.

15. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had in fact given his secret tape recording to people whom he felt would very likely get it to federal fugitive Warren Jeffs.

16. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had lied during his trial testimony in this case when he denied secretly tape recording other meetings with law enforcement authorities and thereafter taking steps to ensure that these secret recordings were sent to federal fugitive Warren Jeffs.

17. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had in fact secretly taped recorded a second meeting with Texas law enforcement authorities, as well as two other meetings with the FBI, and that he had given these secret recordings to people whom he felt would very likely get them to federal fugitive Warren Jeffs.

18. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had lied during his trial testimony in this case when he denied any knowledge whether the FLDS Church had access to municipal surveillance cameras.

19. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he in fact knew that municipal surveillance cameras were tied into the FLDS Church and that FLDS Church security had access to the municipal surveillance cameras.

20. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that he had attended numerous meetings with Hildale and Colorado City officials, with FLDS Legal Coordinator Willie Jessop in attendance, to formulate legal strategies "as to how best to protect our church or church members."

21. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that, at the direction of the FLDS Church, the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal's Office knowingly compromised its ability to conduct criminal investigations by obeying an FLDS Church edict to immediately stop using the Internet.

22. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that two of his deputies had been prevented by Mohave County Sheriff's deputies from arresting Willie Jessop, after Mr. Jessop ended his adherence to Warren Jeffs.

23. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that, even after acquiring personal knowledge that certain men, including former peace officer Jonathan Roundy, had married an underage girl while employed at the Marshal's Office, he did not initiate any criminal or other investigation of Jonathon Roundy or of any other FLDS Church members who had married an underage girl.

24. At the April 2014 Deposition, Marshal Barlow confessed that, upon receipt of a discovery request from the United States Department of Justice, he and Colorado City Manager, David Darger, materially altered numerous police reports which were incomplete or internally inconsistent because these police reports made the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal's Office "look bad."

Minor details.

Because of these new revelations, Horne filed a proposed form of judgment in the civil case, in which the federal judge could approve the disbanding of the marshal's office -- something Arizona legislators have failed to do.

From Horne's filing:

Defendants shall immediately commence taking all actions necessary to disband and terminate all operations, including without limitation all law enforcement, policing, and dispatch operations, of the Colorado City Marshal's Office and the Hildale City Police Department (collectively the "Marshal's Office"), and to transfer full responsibility and authority for law enforcement policing and police dispatch services within the municipalities to the sheriffs of the respective Arizona and Utah counties in which the municipalities of Colorado City and Hildale are located, namely, Mohave County, Arizona, and Washington County, Utah (hereafter the "County Sheriffs"). Such actions shall include, at a minimum, strict and timely compliance with the procedures provided hereafter.

Horne's also seeking other remedies, including installing a monitor over all municipal services.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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