Utah wants polygamous towns’ water utility taken over

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-25 14:49:01-04

ST. GEORGE — In a new court filing, the Utah Attorney General’s Office has asked a judge to appoint someone to take over a water utility in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

The attorney general’s office claims Twin City Water Works does not have any “competent accounting measures in place” and may be breaking state law regarding non-profit entities. Sean Reyes’ office cites records obtained by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its lawsuit against the towns, which alleged money sent to Fundamentalist LDS Church leaders. They cite a 2006 letter where a TCWW official asked then-fugitive polygamous leader Warren Jeffs for advice on how to spend the utility funds.

The attorney general also pointed out that TCWW pleaded guilty earlier this month to tax evasion in a criminal proceeding in Arizona.

“All of this evidence demonstrates that TCWW has operated contrary to Utah law governing non-profits and corporations and continues to do so, either deliberately or because its officers are incompetent,” assistant Utah Attorney General Joni Jones wrote.

On June 10, TCWW pleaded guilty in Phoenix to tax evasion and was ordered to pay $390,683 in back taxes and penalties, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office asks the judge to appoint a receiver to run TCWW. In past court filings, the water utility has denied any impropriety in recent years.

Read the motion here: