An Arizona judge has refused to disqualify prosecutors in a public corruption case against a pair of polygamous border town officials, the Mohave Daily News is reporting.
Colorado City Fire Chief Jacob Barlow and town Manager David Darger each face more than a dozen felony allegations, including unauthorized TurboTax purchases and hundreds of dollars in travel expenses.
Their defense attorneys wanted the Mohave County Attorney’s Office removed from the case, arguing prosecutors had a conflict of interest because they were also the Colorado City Fire District’s attorneys at the time.
But a judge disagreed, ruling there wasn’t evidence the attorney’s office represented the two men or gave legal advice on the case, according to the Daily News.
In August, Barlow and Darger were indicted on 30 and 13 public corruption counts, respectively. The charges came after police served search warrants in the twin towns, looking for evidence of illegal money transfers, travel expenses and purchases. Defense attorneys say fire departments have wide latitude in budgeting, and the charges were legitimate fire district expenses.
Barlow and Darger have also filed motions to remand the charges back to the grand jury and to dismiss due to legal insufficiency, vagueness and selective prosecution.
The majority of the people who live in the border towns of Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah are members of the Warren Jeffs-led Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
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