SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney for polygamist John Daniel Kingston on Thursday asked a judge be recused from Kingston’s child custody case, alleging his comments make it impossible for him to be impartial.
During a hearing Wednesday for one of Kingston’s wives, Judge Andrew Valdez said he feared for the safety of his family and the safety of the courthouse after a member of the Kingston polygamous clan was allegedly caught installing surveillance equipment on an area of the courthouse that overlooks where employees, including judges, park their vehicles.
Valdez said the man, whom he didn’t identify, was later found to be a member of the Kingston clan, sometimes called “The Order,” from Huntington, Utah.
Valdez drew anger from the Kingstons last month when, citing allegations of abuse, he ordered eight of the 11 children Kingston has with wife Heidi Mattingly into state custody. He also ordered Mattingly — one of Kingston’s reported 14 wives — to cease contact with the Kingston clan and live independently from the group.