Arizona AG ruling threatens FLDS control of Hildale | Buzz Blog
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Arizona AG ruling threatens FLDS control of Hildale



An April 5 ruling by the Arizona Attorney General's office on a housing discrimination complaint filed in December, 2008 appears to undermine attempts by the polygamist FLDS Church to block the United Effort Plan Trust bringing in non-FLDS members to the twin cities of Hildale and Colorado City.---

Ron and Jinger Cooke's complaint, according to a copy of the reasonable cause determination by the Arizona AG's office, accused Hildale-Colorado City of "discriminating against him based on religion and disability by denying him utility services" at a Colorado City house. 

Ron Cooke is severely disabled. He and his wife have lived in squalor for over a year while they have struggled to get the city to hook up a property the UEP trust, which owns most of the land in the townships and the houses on it, provided to them. The trust, its advisors and apparently the FLDS church leadership have long regarded the battle over the Cooke's as a test case as to who decides whether or not non-FLDS folk can live in the townships.  

I have written several stories on the Cookes, beginning with Polygamist vs Polygamist last year. If you want to get a look at the Cooke's living conditions, check out this TV report by Arizona reporter MikeWatkiss.  

The Arizona AG's office found that the townships had discriminated against the Cookes and "retaliated against and interfered with Cooke in the sale or rental of housing and otherwise made housing unavailable to Cooke based upon religion and his exercise of fair housing rights."

The AG also found that not only Cooke but "other non-FLDS persons seeking to have water connections and other utilities provided for housing on UEP property [...] have been denied rights under the state and federal fair housing laws" by the townships.