Just how bad polygamous town marshals are, according to a marshal
The Arizona Attorney General is asking a federal judge to disband the marshals office in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, and the basis for the request is a change of heart from Marshal Helaman Barlow.
Barlow admitted in an April deposition that he lied in a previous deposition and when he testified at the federal civil rights trial in which the Cooke family eventually received a $5.2 million judgement. In that first deposition and at the trial, Barlow testified — in so many words — the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints did not control the marshals office.
No one who knows anything about Short Creek will be surprised that the FLDS has their fingers on the controls, but some of the details shared by Barlow is still worth noting. Here are highlights, if you want to call them that.
• To enter the United Order, the elite subset of the FLDS Warren Jeffs created, Barlow said he had to meet with "Bishop Lyle Jeffs" for an interview. Barlow also had to give Lyle Jeffs a list of assets Barlow owned.
• If another law enforcement agency arrived in Short Creek to serve a search warrant or subpoena, the marshals would announce it over their radios knowing every marshal, firefighter and searcher and rescuer would hear it. One of those people, at least, would warn the person about to be served. The marshals had a term for this: "slow walking."
• Barlow became interim chief in May 2012. He became permanent chief two months later when then-bishop John Wayman told Barlow to tell the city manager and city council he had approved the move.
• At one point, apparently in 2012, an edict was given to the United Order members to stop using the Internet. Internet service to Colorado City government was shut off for about two weeks, making it difficult for the marshals and other municipal employees to do their job. An exception for city government was made, but they could still only look at email and certain websites.
• Barlow recorded two meetings with Schleicher County, Texas, Sheriff David Doran and two meetings with FBI agents. He then gave those recordings to either then-Chief Marshal Fred Barlow or FLDS courier Lindsay Barlow with the assumption would forward the recordings to Warren or Lyle Jeffs.
• At one point, Barlow and Willie Jessop attended a conference in Colorado on assisting crime victims where Sam Brower, the private investigator who has probed the FLDS, was presenting. Barlow knew their presence would make Brower uncomfortable. Conference personnel asked Barlow to leave.
• When worship was held at the LSJ Meeting House, females were made to sit in the back and males in the front.
• Barlow became aware Marshal Jonathan Roundy took an underage girl as a plural wife, but there was no investigation. Barlow knew of other underage marriages, too.
• Roundy also made silencers for guns, which is illegal. Before you gasp, Barlow says it was so as not to scare cattle when shooting in the mountains.
• Barlow left the United Order in late 2012, and he and his wife started receiving different treatment from people in town. Colorado City Manager David Darger started overriding some of Barlow’s decisions.
Barlow, by the way, is the son of former longtime Short Creek Marshal and spokesman Sam Barlow.
— Nate Carlisle