ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — Two officers in border towns where many residents belong to a polygamous sect were stripped of their badges in Arizona, and Utah will open its own probe, an official said last week.
Fred Barlow, marshal in Colorado City, Ariz., and Preston Barlow, a deputy, were decertified in Arizona after an investigation found them guilty of misconduct.
They were accused of not cooperating in civil proceedings involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a criminal investigation of its embattled leader, Warren Jeffs.
In October 2005, when Jeffs was on the run from authorities, Fred Barlow wrote a letter in which he warmly referred to him as “Uncle Warren” and pledged “our desire to stand with you and the priesthood.”
Utah officials are waiting for a decision by Arizona before pursuing their own investigation, said Maj. Rich Townsend, executive director of Police Officer Standards and Training.
“Arizona received the information first, and we just didn’t feel like it was right or appropriate for Utah to jump right in the middle of it,” Maj. Townsend said.