ST. GEORGE — A hearing scheduled for July 21 to consider new trustees for the United Effort Plan Trust, the financial arm of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been postponed because of the recusal of the judge.
Third District Court Judge Constandinos Himonas recused himself earlier this week after his former law firm, Jones, Waldo, Holbrook and McDonough, agreed to represent several people proposed as trustees.
The case has been reassigned to Judge Denise Lindberg, who will not be available on July 21.
“Hopefully, the hearing will take place within the next month,” said Paul Murphy, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
In May, the state had the trust assets frozen and temporary control given to an outside firm because it was feared church leader Warren Jeffs was liquidating the assets. Last month, a state court permanently removed Jeffs and five other church leaders from the trust, which owns the property of many of the residents of the twin communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
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Taking a break?
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has estimated that the trust may be worth about $100 million.
Utah and Arizona authorities have been cracking down on plural marriages to underage girls in the two communities. On Wednesday, attorneys general from the two states announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jeffs, who is charged in Arizona with conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.