Justice Dep't sues Az polygamist town for discrimination
On Thursday, the Justice Department sued two polygamous towns, Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., along the Utah-Arizona border, claiming they discriminated against non-sect members, according to the Washington Post.
In both towns most residents are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, run by the group’s jailed leader Warren Jeffs. Jeffs remains in prison where he is serving time for convictions on child sexual assault and bigamy.
According to Newsday, the lawsuit claims the marshal's offices in the two towns and utility entities have violated the federal Fair Housing Act, depriving non-sect members of their constitutional rights.
The lawsuit states, "The Marshal's Office has inappropriately used its state-granted law enforcement authority to enforce the edicts of the FLDS, to the detriment of non-FLDS members," according to ABC.
The suit also claims that officers regularly allow sect members to destroy non-member's crops, vandalize property and trespass.
Blake Hamilton, the attorney representing Hildale and the Marshal's Office, told the Associated Press that the claims are baseless.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.