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Yet another UEP case

Published October 26, 2012 8:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I have a confession to make.

When I read the last court filing by Bruce Wisan, the administrator of the polygamous sect property trust once controlled by Warren Jeffs, he referred to a federal case filed against him and the reformed United Effort Plan trust in Arizona by the town of Colorado City. His attorney in that case, he said, was basically saying he needed some cash for his services. That's one of the reasons why Wisan said he needed a $5.6 million state payment on the trust's debts sooner rather than later.

Here's the confession part: I wasn't sure what case he was talking about.

Well, folks, I figured it out. And just in case you were confused to, I'm here to tell you about it and give you an update on the case.

It's a countersuit to the complaint filed by Ron and Jinjer Cooke back in 2010. You remember that one: Ron Cooke is a disabled former member of the Jeffs-led Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who couldn't get a water hookup to his house. He sued the city for discrimination (and the U.S. government wants to join his case to their broader discrimination case filed against Colorado City, Ariz., and its twin town, Hildale, Utah).

Well, Colorado City's countersuit says that Cooke didn't go through the proper procedures for water hookups that were put in place to ensure there would be enough water during a drought. (Read Colorado City's complaint here). It also says the state takeover of the trust in 2005 was unconstitutional, so Wisan never should have given Cooke a house in Colorado City in the first place.

(That last question is being weighed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, but things are looking pretty dim for the FLDS.)

Last week, U.S. District Judge David Campbell denied a motion to stay in the Cooke case. So it's on. The case entered the discovery phase last week.