Judge narrows field of potential United Effort Plan trustees; public comment invited

SALT LAKE CITY – Judge Denise Posse Lindberg of the Third Judicial District Court released a list of finalists seeking appointment to a Board of Trustees for the United Effort Plan Trust, according to a statement released by the office of Attorney General Sean Reyes Thursday.

The United Effort Plan was set up by officials of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as an umbrella for church assets and holdings. It controls many of the homes, businesses and properties in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. Since Warren Jeffs, the leader and prophet of the FLDS church, fled the area when in the face of criminal charges about nine years ago, the Trust has been the subject of considerable legal wrangling over its oversight. In 2013, the Trust had a an estimated value of $110 million, according to a January 2013 report by Nate Carlisle, with the Salt Lake Tribune.

The application process for board of trustees was formed after the Court granted a joint motion brought by the Special Fiduciary, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in the summer of 2013. The final Board of Trustees will be made up of five, seven or nine members pursuant to Judge Lindberg’s decision. She retains the discretion to deny the necessity for a Board, the attorney general’s statement said.

The Court has narrowed the candidate pool to the following individuals:

Gregory Barlow
Jethro Barlow
Deloy Bateman
Margaret Cooke
M. Jvar Dutson
Holly Ernest
Sheleigh Harding
Thomas A. Holm
Michael Hughes
Willie Jessop
Arnold Richter
Lane Ronnow
Don Timpson

The public is encouraged to comment on any or all of the individuals listed as potential Trustees by sending comments to:

Judge Denise P. Lindberg
Matheson Courthouse
450 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT  84020

Comments will be accepted for seven days after official notice of the finalists is published. Upon conclusion of the comment period, the Court will arrange personal interviews in convenient locations around Utah and will announce next steps after candidates are evaluated.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • ok February 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    ??? Utah trust protection at work???

  • ok February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    ??? Utah trust protection??? ?

  • clinton barlow February 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I vote Arnold Richter!

  • James Richter February 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    From the characters of listed candidates, I am familiar with George and Jethro Barlow, Deloy Bateman, M Jvar Dutson, Thomas A Holm, Willie Jessop, and Arnold Richter. From past experiences, I believe only Arnold, Willie, Thomas, and Jvar have characters worth mentioning. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some of those whos characters i wouldn’t vouch for should not be placed in a position of power over others. Growing up in that town branded me with a deep rooted disrespect for power hungry who abused the little they had flippantly. Those chosen to manage this trust must themselves be trustworthy, and not trustworthy to a religion or deity but to the needs of those by which the management of said trust will be affected.

    • Craig February 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Oh yeah, Fat Willie has a character worth mentioning all right.

  • Phoenicis February 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I second Clinton’s motion. And all those that have had interaction with the man in all good conscience would agree as well.

  • Margaret Cooke February 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I am acquainted with 9 of the 13 names listed. There are four that are not from the community. I have no association therefore no frame of reference of how they can benefit the trust. I am working to find that out. I KNOW that the community is rapidly changing and it will take a lot of hard work and honest dedication to accomplish the task at hand. My desire is see a religiously un-bias group be appointed. I desire to see a change in how people treat their fellow man and leave personal beliefs out of the equation. I applied for this position because I feel I know the community members and have a genuine desire to make a difference in this matter. I am willing to be the change I desire to see.

  • Leslie February 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Put Don Timpson, Margaret Cooke, and Deloy Bateman on the board and the rest will fall into place.

  • Andrea Harker February 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I have heard Margaret Cooke express her desire for Peace, Love, freedom of choice, acceptance and rights for the people who are living on UEP land and those affected by the UEP board members decisions. Justice and Rights for the people living there. Regardless of what they believe religiously, each one deserves to be treated fairly and not be judged and treated differently because of one persons judgment of them. Her positive attribute and attitude has been an asset to the trust. I feel really good about others being on the board who bring their positive contribution for all involved as well…I look forward to wonderful improvements ahead!

  • Sherin February 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t know many of these people but I do know that Margaret Cooke, Arnold Richter and Thomas Holm are good people who understand the goodness of our home town. I absolutely do not trust Willie Jessop. Just my two cents.

  • Mae February 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Who is Lane Ronnow and what is his affiliation with the Kirk?
    I would love to see Arnold Richter on the panel, but Willie is a horrible choice to be in charge of anything!

  • UtahMom February 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Big Willy has already proven his self-enrichment agenda. Putting him on the board is like asking the fox to guard the hen house. There is already so much wrong there. Let’s not compound it.

  • john February 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I like the name Margaret. Don is smart. Arnold is well intented and since his name is Richter assumed to be smart.

    They have my trust.

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