What Meri Brown had to say to the court

Published February 22, 2012 9:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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

Below are excerpts from the written statement Meri Brown filed in federal court. Some of the full statement is redundant with Kody and Janelle Brown's statements.

Go here for my article on the filings and the larger legal issues.

— Nate Carlisle

• In our plural family, only one couple, Kody Brown and myself, holds an official marriage license.

• I was a resident of Lehi, Utah, where I was civilly married to Kody Brown, who is spiritually married to Plaintiffs Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, and Robyn Sullivan.

• Efforts of some of the adults to find employment was hampered by our being labeled as felons and guilty of open and admitted criminal acts.

• In my case, I was fired due to criminal investigation and being labeled a felon due to our family structure

• I had worked for Youth Care of Utah for 1 year.

• When we decided to participate in the Sister Wives program, I informed my supervisors and the company management.

• There was no objection to the show and I received positive feedback from my co- workers.

• I was specifically told by my supervisor that everything was fine and that the show and my lifestyle would not be a problem.

• I was put on administrative leave at the beginning of the next regular scheduled day of work after statement from the prosecutor labeling us as criminals. Please double check this. I am not sure if there were prosecutors at that point - just the announcement of the investigation by the Lehi City Police Department.

• In October 3, 2010, I came to work on a Sunday only to find high-ranking management present - something I had never seen.

• I was pulled into an office and told that I would be placed on administrative leave until corporate management decided how to handle "the situation."

• I was called into the office on Tuesday, October 5., I was told they had to called me in to tell they had decided to terminate my employment. I was not working due to administrative leave.

• I objected because I had been open about my polygamous family structure and the show, but the management made clear that it was not my polygamous family that motivated my termination.

• Rather, the management told me it was the fact that I was under criminal investigation and the statements in the media that the state considered me (and my family) to be committing felonies under state law. Actually they were specifically worried about police showing up to the work place.

• My employer offered me a "severance" pay with the condition that if I accepted it I would never speak of the circumstances regarding my separation.

• I refused to accept the mney in exchange for my silence.

• I have not been able to secure another position for myself.

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