Arizona Accuses Polygamist Sect Of Discrimination

January 30, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A trial began in Phoenix on Wednesday in a civil-rights lawsuit that said municipal officials loyal to a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border denied a household water connection to a family that does not belong to the church.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Arizona Assistant Attorney General Sandra Kane accused the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of using public utilities as a weapon of discrimination. Kane said Ronald Cooke was denied a water hook-up when he returned with a family in 2008 to his boyhood town of Short Creek, a collective name for Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

Lawyers for the towns insisted in opening arguments that a water shortage was the reason for refusing service. The trial is expected to last eight weeks.