Arizona AG seeks to dismantle polygamous town’s police force

hildale2

PHOENIX — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is asking a federal judge to order the Hildale/Colorado City Town Marshal’s Office be dismantled over their loyalties to imprisoned polygamous leader Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

In court documents filed late Monday in U.S. District Court and obtained by FOX 13, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said it had “newly discovered evidence” that Marshal Helaman Barlow lied in trial testimony and in depositions about the activities of the police force.

From the court filing:

Barlow deposition

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office says Barlow got an immunity deal in the ongoing lawsuits filed against Hildale and Colorado City by the U.S. Department of Justice and the state. It was then that he admitted to lying in the trial of Ron and Jinjer Cooke, who sued the towns alleging they had been discriminated against because they were non-FLDS members.

From the court filing:

Barlow filing

The court filing also accuses the Colorado City Town Manager of altering police reports. Barlow also admitted, the court filing claims, to secretly taping Texas authorities and the FBI discussing Warren Jeffs — and giving it to the then-fugitive FLDS leader.

From the court filing:

Barlow court filing

The court filing claims that when Warren Jeffs ordered FLDS faithful to stop using the Internet, Barlow stopped — compromising his ability to conduct criminal investigations.

Barlow also admitted that he knew a fellow officer in the Marshal’s Office married an underage girl.

From the court filing:

Barlow allegations

In a court hearing in Salt Lake City last week, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said it would seek to have the Town Marshal’s Office dismantled. The attorney general’s office said it would have law enforcement duties taken over by Mohave County and, presumably, Washington County.

“The evidence of such deeply engrained discriminatory intent and religious control over municipal operations proves that the disbandment of the Marshal’s Office and the other injunctive relief sought by the State is necessary to ensure the protection of housing rights that have been violated by the Defendants for so long,” assistant Arizona Attorney General Sandra Kane wrote.

File Photo: Warren Jeffs

File Photo: Warren Jeffs

The Town Marshal’s Office has long been under scrutiny over its loyalties to Warren Jeffs, a former fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, who is serving a life sentence in Texas for child sex assault related to underage marriages.

On Sunday, FOX 13 reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and Hildale were seeking a glimpse into the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council’s investigative files. POST has refused to cooperate, citing its ongoing investigation.

In an interview with FOX 13, Hildale attorney Blake Hamilton said he would fight efforts to dismantle the police force.

UPDATE: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne issued a statement on his office’s efforts to dismantle the police force:

AZ AG statement

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