Judge closer to deciding new leadership in FLDS land battle

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SALT LAKE CITY — A judge appointed to oversee the massive land holdings of a southern Utah polygamous church is closer to picking new leadership.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office said that during a hearing Friday in 3rd District Court, Judge Denise Lindberg indicated she was hoping to appoint a new board of trustees for the FLDS Church’s United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust by early January. The judge was open to holding a hearing in the polygamous border town of Hildale, or nearby, “but was concerned about her safety,” the attorney general’s office said in an email to FOX 13.

The courts took control of the UEP Trust in 2005, amid allegations that Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs and others mismanaged it. The UEP controls most of the land within the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

Jeffs is serving life in prison in Texas after being convicted of child sex assault.