11 Hildale city employees resign; at least one because of religious beliefs

In this file photo, a crowd of nearly 200 gather as newly elected Hildale officials are sworn in during a ceremony held at Water Canyon School, Hildale, Utah, Jan. 4, 2018 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Eleven city employees in Hildale have resigned, including one who wrote that his religious beliefs prohibit him from “following a woman, and from serving on a board with apostates,” said Mayor Donia Jessop, one of four nonmembers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints elected to office last November.

Hildale shares employees with Colorado City, Arizona, and Jessop estimates there are about 50 between the two, although the majority are in Colorado City.

She added that each of the employees who resigned provided the city with at least two weeks’ notice and offered to help with the training of new employees during the transition, regardless of whether that goes beyond the two weeks.

In this file photo, Donia Jessop is sworn in as mayor of Hildale at ceremony held at Water Canyon School, Hildale, Utah, Jan. 4, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The mayor said she asked each of them to stay, but understands their position.

“It’s easier to cope with this because it’s not personal, they are just following what they believe,” she said.

The November 2017 election marked the first time in the town’s 100-year history than any nonmember of the FLDS church was elected to office.

Jessop, along with City Council members Maha Layton, Jared Nichols and Jvar Dutson, were sworn in last month.

There has been no interruption in city services, the mayor said, which she attributed to the “graciousness of the employees who are already gone, but who made sure we had systems in place and someone to run them before they left, which they didn’t have to do.”

Jessop said city officials are undaunted and are committed to moving forward as a community to continue to work on the new water system being put in place and seek grants to improve Hildale’s infrastructure.

“We have to keep moving forward,” she said.

Roger Carter, city manager of Washington City, who was appointed in 2016 by the court to monitor operations in Hildale and Colorado City, is working with Jessop and her staff to assist with the changeover.

“He has been a huge help and support,” she said.

Carter’s appointment was in response to a jury verdict that individuals who did not belong to the FLDS church were denied police protection, building permits and water hookups on the basis of religion, prompting the court to place the town under court supervision for 10 years.

Jessop said her office has received calls from city officials throughout Washington County offering support and assistance if needed.

“I am just amazed at the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from these communities,” Jessop said. “They have called my office to make sure we had what we need and even said they will come out and help get services restored if something happens.”

She said City Council members are working closely as a team to resolve the staffing shortfalls, and with the number of qualified applicants, those positions should be filled soon.

“I still see amazing growth for Hildale and we are moving forward with a clear vision of what we are working toward,” Jessop said.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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9 Comments

  • Utahguns February 8, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    FLDS followers continue to show their ignorance…or brainwashing. Plain and simple.
    The people of Jonestown did the same thing.

  • utahdiablo February 8, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Good, get the hell out..

    • 417-PC February 8, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Great comment/post! Thank You!

  • PlanetU February 8, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Interesting that his beliefs don’t allow him “to follow a woman” but it’s OK to follow a false-prophet/sex offender. Don’t let the door hit ya in the …!
    Good luck to the lady mayor, may be a way of cleaning house, so to speak.

    Ed. ellipsis.

  • Real Life February 8, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    What to do? I guess they will have to turn to their pedophile prophet for guidance.

  • riccie February 8, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Cody why wasn’t it reported what positions were abandon? Maybe more in-depth reporting could be done.
    Were the emergency services positions abandon? They still the Colorado City fire, rescue, & ambulance that will come to everyone’s rescue. However will they show the respect and assistance to apostates and women if their houses catch fire or they have a medical emergency that needs assistance? In the past there have been documented instances that services were purposefully slow responses or not assisted.
    Mayor Donia you best check all inventories and make sure nothing has gone missing. I am sure those persons have been planning this for a while and could have been pilfering items to the Colorado City side long ago. Leaving only the worst of the equipment. I remember years ago when there was an audit by the State or Feds on the fire department and found inappropriate funds were used to purchase non work related items. Also the resent audits on the fraud of the welfare $ that was used unlawfully. Remember they at least told the truth and admitted publicly they were all guilty.
    I wonder when the elections in Colorado City are going to be held? or has all the followers moved over to the Arizona side?

  • 12345 February 9, 2018 at 6:32 am

    This is to funny ! I wasn’t aware child molesters weren’t allowed to follow women

  • dons8120 February 9, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I don’t ever go out that way, but I have heard stories. I hope they get a law enforcement agency that is not FLDS to clean that place up if they haven’t already. Those corrupt people need to learn if they want to practice their religion they still have to follow state and local laws. Lets just send them to Texas so they can be closer to their prophet. Lets hope this new Mayor doesn’t have an “accident”

  • General Seamstress February 9, 2018 at 11:20 am

    It was a great article, I’m glad they kept their honor in making sure everything goes smoothly. Making fun of ppl is not showing love… mocking those leaving…however, flea that r still following warren jeffs are fundamentally taking part in and being an accessory to pedophillia. He groped and married and molested girls as young as 12 that we have video and audio of him shamefully raping and molesting. To continue to follow this soft spoken but evil hearted man is as much as participating in the crime yourself. Ppl outside the sect are trying to love u all into freedom but u simply must understand the drive behind our nature is to protect u and your children. I feel so sad you love your way of life but it has been used against u, which is something that will repeatedly happen when you give someone your very will. Warren was just a man.. the charismatic man or woman will always steal, kill and charm their way to the top of any agency, that’s narcissism plain and simple.

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