The "Marshal's Office" for the FLDS towns of Colorado City and Hildale on the Utah/Arizona border could become the reason for a new $420,000 burden on taxpayers.
It turns out that Attorney General Tom Horne won't continue to use his office's funds to pay the Mohave County Sheriff's Office for extra patrols in the area, after a bill that attempts to deal with the situation in Colorado City was all but killed in the state Legislature.
-Colorado City, FLDS Haven, Reportedly Covered With Security Cameras, 1984 Style
-Michelle Ugenti's Anti-Colorado City Bill Gets No Love from State Senate
-Doris Goodale Won't Explain Her Defense of Colorado City's Police Force
-Colorado City Sued by Justice Department; Warren Jeffs Still Running the Joint
Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services reports that Horne wants taxpayer coin for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office to patrol the town, as the money he provided last year is about to run out July 1, the beginning of the budget year.
The estimate is the same as this year's -- $420,000. Horne came up with that funding from Federal Asset Sharing, federal cash that had been seized from drug dealers and whatnot.
We e-mailed the AG's spokeswoman to see why that money doesn't exist for the upcoming year, so we'll update this post when we get a response.
Colorado City previously was patrolled only by the Marshal's Office, which is believed to be loyal to self-proclaimed prophet and convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs instead of the law, at least, according to Horne and a federal lawsuit from the the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, among others. The Mohave County Sheriff's Office now does patrols on top of the Marshal's Office, but has been paid by Horne's office to do so.
Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti proposed a bill this year -- similar to legislation proposed last session -- calling for local police departments to be dissolved if half of its police officers had their licenses taken away over the course of eight years. That happens to fit the description of the Marshal's Office (legislators have also cited the PD in Quartzsite), which would alleviate the need for the Sheriff's Office, presumably.
A neutered version of the bill passed the House, but it wasn't even heard in the Senate, thanks to Republican Senator Chester Crandell, Capitol Media Services reports.
So, now it looks like the state's taxpayers might be stuck with the bill, since legislators have now twice refused to do something about it.
That, or just leave the policing up to the Marshal's Office. If you don't know why that might be a bad idea, see the information on the next page.
Click here for the latest information from the Attorney General's office -- including previous testimony on the Marshal's Office -- and below, find the accusations against the Marshal's Office detailed in the Justice Department lawsuit.
16. The Marshal's Office has failed to provide policing services to non-FLDS individuals on the basis of religion. The Marshal's Office fails to protect non-FLDS individuals from victimization by FLDS members, fails to investigate crimes against non-FLDS individuals and their property, and refuses to arrest FLDS individuals who have committed crimes against non-FLDS individuals. These crimes and actions include destroying crops on a non-FLDS-operated farm, vandalizing property in the control of the UEP Trust, returning at least one underage bride to a home from which she had fled, and trespassing on property occupied by non-FLDS individuals.
17. The Marshal's Office selectively enforces laws and regulations against non-FLDS individuals on the basis of religion. Instances of selective enforcement include arresting non-FLDS individuals for trespass but not arresting similarly situated FLDS individuals, and citing non-FLDS individuals for traffic violations but not citing FLDS individuals for similar infractions.
18. Non-FLDS individuals experience the hardship and mental and physical stress resulting from the knowledge that the Marshal's Office will not come to their aid in time of need. For example, in January 2012, a woman who was, in effect, excommunicated by the FLDS, fled her home in the Cities with her six young daughters after learning that FLDS leaders demanded that she sever all contact with five of her six children. This woman believed, based on its policies and previous actions, that the Marshal's Office would not come to her assistance to protect her parental rights if she complained about the FLDS edict separating mothers from their children. She decided, as many other non-FLDS members have done, to flee with her children under cover of darkness to safety outside of the Cities. The failure and refusal of the Marshal's Office to protect all citizens without regard to religion has given rise to an "underground railroad," composed of non-FLDS members who provide safe havens and a means of egress for individuals abandoned by law enforcement.
19. The Marshal's Office effectively serves as the enforcement arm of the FLDS Church. Since at least 1990, the Marshal's Office has assisted the FLDS Church in its surveillance and investigation of non-FLDS members because of religion. This activity includes providing training and resources to FLDS members to aid their surveillance of non-FLDS members. The Marshal's Office provides law-enforcement information, including but not limited to, information about emergency calls to the Marshal's Office for assistance, directly to FLDS security personnel. In addition, the Cities obtain information from LDS Church security-service members about vehicles traveling in the Cities, run license-plate checks to determine whether such vehicles are owned and/or operated by non-FLDS members in the Cities, and convey the results of the license-plate checks to the FLDS Church.
20. The Marshal's Office has conducted traffic stops on multiple occasions in response to FLDS church members' requests that they find out the identity of the occupants of a vehicle.
21. The Marshal's Office deploys its resources to enforce FLDS religious edicts. Such conduct includes dispatching Marshal's Office in official vehicles to confront persons about their alleged disobedience to FLDS rules and instructing such persons to report to FLDS leadership.
22. In one instance, in 2000, Jeffs issued an order for a then-FLDS member to return an underage bride, who had fled her new husband's home, to FLDS leaders. Unaware that the then-FLDS member had already complied, three Marshal's Deputies confronted him demanding that he return her to FLDS leaders. The Deputies drove official Marshal's Office vehicles when they aggressively confronted the then-FLDS member.One of the Marshal's Deputies involved in this incident remains employed by the Marshal's Office, and another was the Marshal who resigned in or around April 2012.
23. In 2001, Jeffs issued an edict that all domestic dogs would be banned from the Cities. Less than one month later, in compliance with Jeffs's edict, Marshals Deputies Went to each household in the Cities and asked residents to tum over any dogs that they had in the home to the Officers. The Marshal's Deputies then shot and killed the dogs in a slaughter pit a short distance from the Cities. Two of the Marshal's Deputies involved in this incident remain employed by the Marshal's Office.
24. The Marshal's Office fails to cooperate with other law enforcement offices in investigating crimes against non-FLDS individuals or crimes committed by FLDS individuals. Since 2003, Arizona has decertified six officers employed by the Marshal's Office, and a seventh officer resigned after having been decertified by Utah officials. Three were decertified for failure to comply with state law-enforcement efforts, including refusing to testify at a grand jury proceeding.
25. In October 2005, Fred J. Barlow, during the time he Served as Marshal, Wrote a letter to then-fugitive Jeffs, stating in relevant part,I rejoice in the peace that cornes over me When I follow the directives that you have sent to me through [FLDS member] Uncle William [Jessop]. I have felt a unity between the peace officers. They have all Stated to me their desire to follow the directives that are placed before us. . . . I Want to fill the position that you would have me till and do the job the Way that you would like it done. . . . We will continue with that directive unless you would like us to do something different.Three out of the current six Marshal's Deputies were either employed by the Marshal's Office or finishing the required police training for the Marshal's Office at the time Marshal Barlow wrote this letter to Jeffs.
26. Marshal Barlow was later decertified as a peace officer by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board ("AZPOST") for failing to comply with an Arizona Attorney General investigation. On August 7, 2007, an administrative law judge, in reviewing AZPOST'S decertification decision, determined that Barlow "displayed bias in favor of Warren Jeffs and the FLDS, in derogation of his oath to neutrally enforce the law."
27. On at least one occasion, in July 20l l, the then-Marshal and Marshal's Deputies participated in the building of fences on UEP Trust property that the FLDS had illegally occupied without permission of the UEP Trust.
28. Since the UEP trust was reformed in 2006, the Marshal's Office has consistently disregarded the validity Trust-signed occupancy agreements and of legal rulings that guarantee the rights of non-FLDS Trust beneficiaries. For example, in December 2011, Marshal's Deputies refused to enforce the occupancy agreement held by a non-FLDS individual for a property known as the Hohn School Building, located at 1055 Carling Street, Hildale, Utah. Several FLDS members entered the building and locked out the rightful non-FLDS occupants of the building. The FLDS members occupying the building refused to allow the rightful non-FLDS occupants to retain possession of the Holm School Building. Those non-FLDS individuals contacted county law enforcement to remove the FLDS trespassers on or about December 20, 2011. At the request of County officials, Marshal's Deputies also arrived at the Holm School later that day. The Marshal's Deputies refused to remove the FLDS trespassers, and the County Sheriffs Deputies were forced to ensure the removal of the trespassers in light of the Marshal's Officers' failure to take any affirmative steps. One of the Marshal's Deputies not only refused to assist the Sheriff's deputies, but left the scene. On another occasion, in August 2008, then-Marshal Jonathan Roundy, responded to a property dispute between an FLDS member and a non-FLDS individual. The Special Fiduciary and his agent informed Marshal Roundy that the non-FLDS member had permission, and therefore a right, to occupy the property. Nonetheless, Marshal Roundy sided with the FLDS member based on religious affiliation. In announcing his decision, Marshal Roundy stated, "[the FLDS member] says this is his property, and we are going to honor him because he is a member of the Church, and he has asked [the non-FLDS] to leave, and that is where I am going to stand as Chief of the Police."
29. Additionally, on February 8, 2012, the Marshal's Office responded to a report that FLDS members were building an illegal fence that encroached onto property validly occupied by a non-FLDS individual. A representative of the Special Fiduciary informed a Marshal's Office that the fence was being built Without permission and should be stopped immediately. The Marshal's Officer failed to act to stop the FLDS members from putting up the fence.
30. The Marshal's Office uses its authority to aid the FLDS Church by facilitating the unlawful evictions of non-FLDS residents and refusing t0 permit non-FLDS individuals to move into properties for which they have occupancy agreements.
31. The Marshal's Office arrests non-FLDS individuals without probable cause on the basis of religion. Specific incidents include arresting non-FLDS individuals for trespass on properties that they had the right to enter, arresting non-FLDS individuals Without probable cause for theft of services, and holding an adult non-FLDS woman in jail overnight Without probable cause on the alleged ground of being a minor in possession of alcohol.
32. The Marshal's Office has seized the property of non-FLDS individuals without due process of law. For example, in April or May 2010, the Marshal's Office departed from its normal procedures in handling a stud horse who escaped from its non-FLDS owner. The Marshal's Office caused the horse to be euthanized without contacting the owner. Members of the Marshal's Office knew or should have known the stud horse, which had distinct markings, and they knew or should have known the identity of the horse's owner. This action was taken on the basis of the owner's religious affiliation.