Colorado City, Ariz. -- A town marshal's deputy resigned from the force Wednesday, nine days after being released from jail on a contempt of court charge.
Town Marshal Fred Barlow informed Robert Forry, compliance manager for Arizona Police Officer Standards and Training, that Mica S. Barlow had resigned effective immediately. Forry said he has not yet received an official termination letter from Barlow.
The Colorado City Town Marshal's force also serves Hildale, Utah; the two towns are home to a polygamous sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Barlow, an FLDS member, had served as a deputy since 1998. He was one of three officers being investigated by police certification agencies in both states for dereliction of duty.
Utah's Peace Officer Standards and Training council met today for the web update in Cache County. The deputies' cases are scheduled to be heard by the Arizona POST board in October, Forry said.
Forry said his agency's investigation into Barlow's certification will remain open even if it receives an official resignation statement from Barlow.
Certification of an officer who resigns may be listed as "inactive" for up to three years, after which it is considered lapsed. Officers who are decertified are barred from serving as peace officers in the future.
In March, POST directors in both states sent letters to Marshal Fred Barlow reiterating deputies' duty to uphold all law and cooperate in ongoing legal investigations involving the sect.
The letters came after deputies balked at helping a court- appointed fiduciary in Utah track missing equipment taken from properties held in a communal trust once run by the FLDS church.
In a separate action, Barlow, 36, was jailed on a contempt of court charge in April for ignoring a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury then investigating the whereabouts of Warren S.
Jeffs, the leader of the FLDS church.
He and five other men also jailed on contempt charges were released from the Central Arizona Detention Facility in Florence on Aug. 28, the day of Jeffs' capture.
Forry said it is up the Colorado City Town Council and the town marshal to hire new deputies.
"I would guess it would get more and more difficult to cover their duties," Forry said.
It has been a challenge for the towns to keep an intact police force over the past several years as deputies' loyalties to the FLDS church and their law enforcement duties have clashed.
Last year, former Town Marshal Sam Roundy and deputy Vance Barlow were decertified by Utah and Arizona because they are practicing polygamists.
In 2003, former police officer Rodney Holm was decertified after being convicted of bigamy and sexual conduct with a minor.