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Who's who in the civil rights lawsuit from mostly polygamous Short Creek

Published January 28, 2014 12:31 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As of Tuesday morning , jury selection in the Cooke lawsuit was underway. I wrote yesterday about the basics of the case, but if you want an even briefer summery here it is: the case will decide of the towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, discriminated against a family because they are not members of the FLDS Church.

There are a lot of players in this case, but I've compiled a short list of the major figures. These are the people that will be quoted and referenced in future stories about this case.

The plaintiffs

Ronald and Jinjer Cooke • The Cooke family — Ronald, Jinjer and their three children — moved to Colorado City in 2007 to be near family and friends. Ronald was raised in the FLDS Church but left in his late teens and moved to Phoenix to work construction. Jinjer has never been a member of the FLDS Church.

The family lives in a home owned by the United Effort Plan. They sued because the city wouldn't give them a water connection. In addition, Ronald is disabled; in 2005, a truck hit him while he was doing road work in Phoenix. He suffered an array of injuries in the crash and, according to court documents, needs water to clean medical equipment and avoid infection.

William Walker • Walker is an Arizona-based attorney representing the Cooke family.

Sandra Kane • Assistant Attorney General Sandra Kane works in her office's civil rights division. Though the case was filed by the Cooke family and Walker, the Arizona Attorney General's Office joined it in September 2010, about three months after it began. Kane studied at Arizona State University.

The defendants

Jeffrey Matura • Matura represents Colorado City, Ariz., in the lawsuit. The Phoenix-based lawyer works at Graif Barrett and Matura and specializes in commercial litigation, insurance law and municipal and governmental law. Matura finished law school at Notre Dame in 1999 and has a B.A. from Carleton College.

Blake Hamilton • Hamilton represents Hildale, Utah, and serves as the town's city attorney. Based in Salt Lake City, Hamilton practices with the firm Stirba, P.C. His areas of expertise include civil rights litigation, governmental entity defense, tax law and other things. Hamilton attended Weber State University before earning a law degree and an MBA at Gonzaga.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii