PHOENIX — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office plans to
provide funding to the Mohave County sheriff to provide
law enforcement patrols in a northern Arizona community
with a polygamist enclave.
Attorney General Tom Horne has announced that his office
will provide $420,000 for deputies to patrol Colorado
City, located on the Arizona-Utah line. The money comes
from assets seized in criminal drug prosecutions.
Horne’s announcement Thursday comes a month after the
Arizona Legislature rejected Horne-backed legislation to
have sheriff’s deputies patrol Colorado City instead of
the town marshal’s office.
Horne contends that marshal’s officers are followers of
polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs and place his wishes
over obeying the law.
“They have been discriminating against people who aren’t
part of that religion,” Horne said. “When women try to
escape they drag them back and make them prisoners.
They’ve been involved in expelling by the thousands young
men so the old men can dominate the young women and don’t
have competition from younger men.”
Horne’s office said that the patrol will take effect in
July upon approval by the Mohave County Board of
Supervisors and will be funded for a year.
“We’ll have someone who will enforce the law according to
the law and not according to the religious prejudices of
Warren Jeffs and who belongs to the religion and who
doesn’t,” said Horne. “He’ll be there to protect people
who want to escape or not be expelled and to enforce the
law in an objective way.”
Horne expects legislation to pass next year to permanently
replace the marshals.
Horne said that complaints against individual marshals
have not helped the problem because they are replaced by
someone with the same beliefs and who also follows the
lead of Jeffs.
Jeffs is currently imprisoned in Texas serving a life
sentence and a 20 year sentence consecutively for sexual
assault of girls ages 12 and 15.