Two Hildale cops quit over questions of FLDS loyalties

Desert Morning News, Utah/November 28, 2007

By Ben Winslow

Two police officers in the polygamous border town of Hildale, Utah, have resigned amid questions and accusations over their allegiance to Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs.

The Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council confirmed the resignations of Hildale Town Marshals Fred Barlow and Preston Barlow, Utah Department of Public Safety spokesman Jeff Nigbur said.

"It was within the last couple of months that they resigned," he said Wednesday.

The two marshals were cross-deputized in Colorado City, Ariz., but their certifications were revoked in September. Proceedings are still under way to decertify the two ex-marshals in Utah, despite their resignations.

"There is concern about their refusing to answer questions in a deposition and their communications to a known felon," Nigbur said. "We will be fair and impartial. Fred and Preston need to be able to explain their side."

Utah POST is planning an administrative law hearing sometime in late December to give the two ex-police officers a chance to explain their side of things.

Marshals in the Hildale/Colorado City Town Marshal's Office have faced continual scrutiny over their loyalties to Jeffs, who is now serving a 10 years-to-life prison sentence for rape as an accomplice, stemming from performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

They have also been accused of refusing to answer investigators and lawyers' questions about Jeffs.

Marshal Fred Barlow was also accused of writing a letter seeking guidance from Jeffs, when the FLDS leader was a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

"I love you and acknowledge you as my priesthood head," Barlow wrote in the letter obtained by Arizona authorities. "And I know you have the right to rule in all aspects of my live (sic)."

The Utah POST Council has already stripped several other officers of their badges in the border towns. The resignations of Fred Barlow and Preston Barlow are not expected to affect police services in Hildale and Colorado City. There are about six full-time marshals, including two cadets who recently graduated from the Utah POST Academy.

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