Attorney General Tom Horne Seeks Disbandment of Colorado City/Hildale Marshall's Office

Phoenix (Tuesday, June 17, 2014) – Attorney General Tom Horne is today announcing the filing of a proposed form of Judgment in the U.S. District Court, seeking, among other things, the disbandment of the Colorado City, Arizona/Hildale, Utah Marshal’s Office and the appointment of a federal monitor over municipal functions and services. 

Filed yesterday, the Judgment provides for the transfer of full responsibility and authority for law enforcement and police dispatch services within the municipalities to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, with all expenses paid by Colorado City and Hildale.

“The disbandment of the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal’s Office is necessary and appropriate because this police department has operated for decades, and continues to operate, as the de facto law enforcement arm of the FLDS Church,” said Attorney General Tom Horne. “We have introduced legislation for the past three years to transfer law enforcement to the Mohave County sheriff and unfortunately it has failed to pass.”

He continued: “Testimony in support of this legislation shows that when girls have tried to escape from the town, the Marshalls forced them back, and committed many other injustices. When the legislation failed, I found $400,000 per year to transfer to the Mohave County sheriff, to have at least one sheriff in Colorado City. As a result, girls have escaped who said they couldn’t have without the sheriff there.” 

The necessity of disbandment has become even more urgent given the recent deposition testimony of the current Chief of Police, Helaman Barlow, who confessed under oath to repeatedly lying during his trial testimony in the Cooke lawsuit, now admitting that the FLDS Church does indeed control the Colorado City/Hildale Marshal’s Office, and that the marshals act in favor of members of the church and harm nonmembers.

“My office will not tolerate corrupt law enforcement agencies in this State, and the disbandment of what is perhaps the most corrupt police department in the history of this State will go a long way toward protecting the public from further discrimination and harm in these communities,” said Attorney General Horne.