At the Safety Net meeting today, Utah Attorney General’s Office spokesman Paul Murphy said they are looking to hold a town hall meeting with people involved in the United Effort Plan trust — ie, past and present members of the Warren Jeffs-led Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
“They have a lot at stake here, and we’re trying to do what we can to help,” he said. The trust, after all, still holds many of their homes, even though it’s been controlled by the state since 2005.
Attempts to reach out to the FLDS before the state takeover didn’t work out too well — they were largely ignored — but things have changed since then. Even if no one still faithful to Jeffs shows up, there’s still the group led by former FLDS leader William Timpson Jessop, plus those who have no affiliation one way or the other.
They’re talking tentatively about Nov. 30 at the Dixie Center in St. George for the town hall meeting, though that may change.
If that date holds, the meeting would probably take place before a final decision on the status of the trust. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is still weighing whether to give the trust back to the FLDS, but a recent Utah Supreme Court decision makes it more likely the trust will stay with the state.
Also at today’s Safety Net meeting, Tonia Tewell with Holding Out Help said that things seem to be loosening up a bit in Colorado City-Hildale. Acting bishop John Wayman appears to be lying low (maybe dodging lawsuits), and a guy named Sterling Jessop is rumored to be in charge.
“You’re seeing kids come out to play,” she said. They are seeing fewer people being excommunicated from the group as of late — though that could change.