SALT LAKE CITY March 7, 2016 — The Utah Attorney General applauds the jury verdict in the Department of Justice case against Colorado City and Hildale.
“This is an important step toward ensuring that citizens in Hildale and Colorado City are treated equally by the cities regardless of their religious beliefs,” said Attorney General Sean D. Reyes. “Over the past several years, residents outside the FLDS fold along with former members of the FLDS faith, have complained of discriminatory treatment by city officials. Many former members left or were expelled because of their criticism of Warren Jeffs and certain practices under his leadership. We feel for the victims and hope this verdict will begin to allow change in the communities and alleviate to some degree the sense of oppression many have endured.
“The DOJ case complements our own efforts. The Court recently appointed an independent receiver to monitor Twin City Waterworks in Utah, an entity that has been accused of funneling money to the FLDS Church instead of using money generated from the sale of water to improve water distribution and expand water sources for the community. Our office continually works to address complaints in the Short Creek area, partnering with local, state and federal agencies on issues ranging from law enforcement to education and human services.”
The court will now consider what remedies are appropriate to address the systemic constitutional violations the jury identified. The remedy the federal court fashions to address law enforcement violating citizens’ Constitutional rights will be closely watched by the Attorney General’s Office. One possible remedy would be disbanding the current Marshal’s Office and replacing it with county sheriffs. The Attorney General has supported disbanding the marshal’s office if adequate law enforcement resources can be found as a replacement.
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