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Utah governor may be open to paying FLDS trust fiduciary

Published December 21, 2012 10:58 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

There is a sign the state eventually may pay the $5.6 million owed to fiduciary Bruce Wisan for his oversight of the United Effort Plan, the trust which benefits current and former members of the FLDS.

Wisan on Tuesday attended a meeting of an obscure government body called the Board of Examiners. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is a member.

Wisan on Thursday told me Herbert, speaking in his capacity as a board member, spoke "pretty favorably" about making the payment.

"The governor thought he could get on board if we comply with certain requirements," Wisan said.

Among the requirements, according to Wisan:

• The state gets a deed for land within the trust so it can recoup the $5.6 million later.

• The trust doesn't come back later for more money from the state.

• There is an agreement in place between Wisan and the Utah Attorney General's Office about how the trust is terminated.

The termination method favored by a majority of those who attended a community meeting in Colorado City last month was to give deeds for homes and property to beneficiaries in the towns of Hidale and Colorado City, and to do away with the collective governance the community has known since the 1940s.

Herbert omitted the Wisan payment from the budget proposed last week. Ultimately, it will be up to the Utah Legislature to appropriate the money, or not. But Herbert's support would seem to make a payment more likely.

Paying the money would please Wisan and 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg, who ordered the payment.

Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @natecarlisle