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Utah names new coordinator for polygamist-issues panel

Utah names new coordinator for polygamist-issues panel

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(KSL News) A social worker is taking over as the coordinator of a Utah committee that serves as a liaison between polygamist communities and government officials.

The Utah Attorney General's office says Pat Merkley will take over the job in August.

The committee was created five years ago to reach out to polygamist community members and help educate government agencies about the culture of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

Merkley is a licensed social worker who's worked for Valley Mental Health, the YWCA and as a contractor for the Family Support Center. She also leads group counseling sessions for women in plural marriages.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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