PHOENIX (CN) – Attorney General Terry Goddard has backed up a disabled man’s claim that a utilities company run by the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints denied him water and electricity because he did not have a building permit, though the utility does not require such permits from sect members.
Goddard’s Superior Court complaint against Hilldale-Colorado City Utilities supports Ronald Cooke’s claim that the sect “instructed members that apostates were tools of the devil.”
Cooke sued the utility company and the Town of Colorado City in Prescott, Ariz., Federal Court. Goddard’s complaint in Maricopa County Court tracks Cooke’s claims.
Goddard agrees that in July 2000, leaders of the fundamentalist sect “instructed members that apostates were tools of the devil, and that there were dangers in associating with apostates.”
Goddard agrees with Cooke’s claim that he needs running water to clean his catheters, bathe and to avoid infections after a traumatic brain and spinal cord injury he suffered in 2005.
Cooke says it’s all part of an FLDS scheme to exclude nonmembers from Colorado City and its sister city, Hilldale, Utah. He claims the sect sees nonmembers as “tools of the devil.”
“Defendants and their agents, in order to support the religious doctrines and aims of FLDS, have denied nonmembers … utility services and commingled governmental funds with church funds, thereby depleting revenues which should be legitimately used to provide utility services at the expense of residents of Colorado City,” according to his complaint.
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