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Shurtleff holds open meeting about future of FLDS trust

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Nov 30th, 2012 @ 10:38pm


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COLORADO CITY — After seven years, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says it is time to resolve the issues surrounding the state's management of the Fundamentalist LDS Church's United Effort Plan Trust.

Friday, a community meeting was held by the Attorney General's Office to discuss the future of the trust and its management.

The United Effort Plan was created by the FLDS Church in 1942 on the concept of a "united order." It required that all assets of church members be managed by the church — properties, homes and businesses included. When affairs in the towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona became tense in 2005, Utah seized control of the trust in order to protect beneficiaries.

Shurtleff said that state control of the trust should never have lasted seven years and held Friday's meeting to discuss options.

"This is a chance to get your home, to get your deed," said attorney and ex-FLDS member Roger Hoole. "You don't have to change your religious beliefs to do that. This is a chance."

The option that seemed to be the most favorable among community members involved dissolving the trust, then distributing the assets of that trust to residents.

Another option is continuing the trust without state intervention or negotiate a whole new agreement.

No decision has been made at this time.

Shurtleff told those in the crowd, mostly ex-FLDS members, that they are good people who were abused by bad people. Still, he told the crowd the FLDS faithful still need to know the truth about Warren Jeffs. It's unknown whether or not any FLDS members were in attendance.

"They didn't get the news, but they have to understand that he's a convicted child rapist. He's never coming out of prison," Shurtleff said.

Shurtleff would like this resolved by the time he leaves his office in five weeks.

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