Polygamous Towns in Arizona, Utah Sued by Feds

Fed suit says non-members of FLDS targeted for harassment
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2012 6:18 AM CDT
Updated Jun 22, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
Polygamous Towns in Arizona, Utah Sued by Feds
This April 20, 2006 file photo shows Hildale, Utah sitting at the base of red rock cliff mountains with its sister city, Colorado City, Ariz. in the foreground.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

Two adjoining towns on the Utah-Arizona border are being sued by the Justice Department, which charges that the polygamous towns are discriminating against nonbelievers in the area, reports the AP. The bulk of residents belong to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a group controlled by convicted pedophile Warren Jeffs, and feds say city leaders and law enforcement officials in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., have gone so far as to destroy the crops of nonmembers, refuse them electricity and water, make arrests without cause, and keep non-FLDS kids from using a public playground.

An attorney for both towns denies the government's accusations. "DOJ asked us to dismantle a community," he says. "There's nothing to support the allegation that non-FLDS members are treated differently." In one disturbing accusation, law enforcement officers allegedly rounded up all the local dogs and killed them in a slaughter pit, at Jeffs' orders. "Finding a solution to the illegal activities that have been occurring in Colorado City for decades has been one of my highest priorities," said Arizona's attorney general. "I remain committed to stopping the illegal conduct perpetrated by the FLDS church on non-church members." (More Arizona stories.)

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