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Utah judge narrows field of potential UEP trustees

Published February 13, 2014 10:17 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A 3rd District Court judge on Thursday released a list of 13 finalists seeking appointment to a board of trustees for the United Effort Plan Trust.

The UEP is a trust holding much of the land in the polygamist-dominated border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. The state took over the trust in 2005 and appointed Bruce Wisan to oversee it, but it has been trying to untangle itself ever since.

Lindberg approved the plan to appoint a board of trustees to manage the trust earlier this year. If the plan works, the state will have found an exit strategy — though Lindberg can still put the kibosh on the idea if suitable applicants don't come out of the woodwork.

The application process was formed after Judge Denise Lindberg granted a joint motion brought by the special fiduciary, the Utah attorney general's office, and the Arizona attorney general's office last summer.

Lindberg will decide if the board of trustees will be made up of five, seven or nine members, but also may decide to deny the necessity for a board, according to a press release from the Utah attorneys general's office.

The judge has narrowed the candidate pool to the following individuals:

Gregory Barlow

Jethro Barlow

Deloy Bateman

Margaret Cooke

M. Jvar Dutson

Holly Ernest

Sheleigh Harding

Thomas A. Holm

Michael Hughes

Willie Jessop

Arnold Richter

Lane Ronnow

Don Timpson

The public is encouraged to comment on any or all of the individuals listed as potential trustees by sending comments to:

Judge Denise P. Lindberg

Matheson Courthouse

450 South State Street

Salt Lake City, UT 84020

Comments will be accepted for seven days after official notice of the finalists is published. Upon conclusion of the comment period, the court will arrange personal interviews in convenient locations around Utah and will announce the next steps in the process after the candidates are evaluated.