Procrastinators take note: you’ve been given a second chance to take over a controversial polygamous trust.
Earlier this week, Utah 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg set a Sept. 30 deadline for applications to the United Effort Plan board of trustees. The deadline previously was scheduled for July 11, but only 13 applicants met that deadline.
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 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 finally 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.
Assistant Utah Attorney General Joni Jones said in a written statement that the extended deadline will help meet the goal of getting "as many qualified individuals as possible."
Lindberg is hoping to find a minimum of five people to serve on the board. Those people can be anyone — polygamists, ex-polygamists, random people with or without an interest in polygamy — as long as they meet a few basic requirements:
• A demonstrated ability to act independently and in the best interest of the trust;
• The ability to administer the trust expeditiously and in good faith;
• The ability to fulfill a duty of loyalty to the trust, including the ability to administer it solely in the interests of the beneficiaries;
• The ability to act impartially and prudently; and if the trustee is appointed based upon special skills or expertise, the ability to use those qualities for the benefit of the trust.
Court spokeswoman Nancy Volmer described the Sept. 30 cutoff date as a "hard deadline" that won’t be extended again.
So if all of this sounds like fun to you, the application is available online, as is information about the review process. Applications and a non-refundable $50 fee can be mailed to Judge Lindberg, Third District Court, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114. The documents on the left side of this page also include additional information about applying to the board.
— Jim Dalrymple II
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