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Let's check in on the controversial polygamous trust

Published September 23, 2013 12:21 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The polygamous United Effort Plan has been quietly doin' its own sweet thing lately, but it's been awhile, so I thought it might be time for an update.

First, the state has so far given $4,275,193.44 to the trust's special fiduciary, Bruce Wisan, according to court documents. The last payment was made Sept. 16 and was for $ 1 million.

If you'll recall, Utah lawmakers in March agree to hand over $5.6 million to Wisan over the course of year. The money is supposed to pay to keep the trust running and pay Wisan and others, who hadn't actually received any money for their work for years.

And of course, the trust was created by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and owns much of the land in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.

Also recall that this money isn't just a free handout; Wisan has to pay it back, though if he returns $4 million to the state by April 1, 2014, he will not have to return any more money.

There's also exactly one week left to apply for the UEP board of trustees, after the deadline was extended from July 11 to the more procrastinator-friendly Sept. 30. If approved, the board members will run the trust and finally get the state out of a quagmire it entered when it took over the UEP in 2005 over concerns about mismanagement.

Originally, 13 people applied for the board. Earlier this month, Utah State Courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer told me five new applications had come in after the deadline was extended, though two of those applications didn't include the mandatory $50 fee.

If you're interested in applying or learning more about the board, check out our original blog post on the topic, or the post on the extended deadline.

— Jim Dalrymple II