Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
The Polygamy Blog
Nate Carlisle
Reporter Nate Carlisle and photographer Trent Nelson cover polygamy for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow the Polygamy Blog on Twitter at @tribunepolygamy. Follow Nate Carlisle on Twitter at @natecarlisle. Follow Trent Nelson on Twitter at @trenthead.

» E-mail Nate Carlisle

» Subscribe (RSS)

(Jim Dalrymple II | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ron and Jinjer Cooke have filed a civil rights lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale, saying they were discriminated against because they aren't FLDS
Trial looking at discrimination in polygamous Utah and Arizona towns continues

The Cooke lawsuit continued Tuesday morning with testimony from Seth Cooke, Ronald Cooke’s brother. Seth’s comments ranged from building permits to non-FLDS persecution in the largely polygamous Short Creek community, but his most relevant remarks had to do with water hookups — the lack of which prompted Ron and his wife Jinjer to sue.

During Seth’s testimony, the Cooke’s attorney William Walker presented him with a series of letters and forms signed by various Colorado City officials. The documents dated back to 2008 and, as Walker pointed out, none of them mentioned any water shortage.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

City officials denied the Cookes water based on an alleged shortage. Attorneys for Colorado City, Ariz., and neighboring Hildale, Utah — which collectively make up Short Creek — also have argued that the Cookes failed to comply with city policy.

Walker’s questioning was designed to show that the policy regarding the water shortage was fabricated and artificial. He and the Cookes believe they were discriminated against because they are not members of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

During cross examination city attorneys pointed out that the Cookes weren’t alone in their struggles; instead, city officials themselves had things like building permits denied, among other things.

Attorneys Tuesday also played a lengthy recording of a conversation between Seth Cooke and Helaman Barlow, the head of the local police force. During the recording, Barlow said that his job was to enforce the law and if his personal beliefs conflicted with that duty he "should get another job." The comment is significant because attorneys for the Cookes also have argued that the local police force is controlled by FLDS leaders.

—Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.