Supervisors meet to discuss tension in polygamist community

KINGMAN — Due to continuing tension in Colorado City, the Mohave County supervisors will hold a special meeting this afternoon to discuss the situation.

District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson is asking to set aside $50,000 in county contingency funds to assist the state in transporting and finding temporary housing in case a large group of women and children flee the polygamist community.

Currently, two teen-age girls have left the community to stay with relatives in St. George, Utah and Phoenix, Johnson said.

“If there is a mass exodus of women and children seeking asylum, the state of Arizona is not equipped to handle these people’s needs,” Johnson said.

Colorado City has been home to a polygamous sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for more than a half-century.

Last year, former police officer Rodney Holm was convicted of bigamy and sexual misconduct with a minor.

Two weeks ago, church leader Warren Jeffs excommunicated Colorado City Mayor Dan Barlow and about two dozen others from the church leading to their removal from the community of about 6,000.

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan recently dispatched additional deputies and a canine unit to Colorado City for re-enforcement in case of trouble but none so far has existed.

Also under discussion at today’s meeting is the progress of the county law enforcement facility proposed to be built in Colorado City.

Mohave County Manager Ron Walker held talks Friday with Mohave Community College, which owns a four-acre parcel of land in the troubled community.

The county is looking at leasing about a half acre of land from the parcel for a module building to house Mohave County sheriff’s deputies, deputy county attorneys, and state officials from the Child Protective Services and the Attorney General’s Office.

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