Colorado City Manager Accuses Department Of Justice Of Prejudice

By Jude Joffe-Block
February 17, 2016

PHOENIX — Colorado City Manager David Darger took the witness stand Wednesday to defend his city in the Justice Department’s federal trial against Colorado City and Hildale, Utah.

In his testimony, Darger denied the Justice Department’s accusations the city is under the control of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and discriminates against non FLDS church members.

Darger then turned the tables and accused the Justice Department of prejudice against the FLDS faith.

Both Colorado City and Hildale were originally settled by FLDS church members. The FLDS church broke off from the mainstream Mormon faith to continue practicing polygamy. The towns of Colorado City and Hildale have long had a tense relationship with outside authorities.

Darger is currently on probation after pleading guilty to misusing public funds. During his direct examination, Darger claimed the federal government used this civil lawsuit to get Darger’s probation officer take photos inside his bedroom. He called it an effort to humiliate and intimidate him.

When Justice Department lawyer Sean Keveney cross-examined, Darger appeared to avoid eye contact. The cross-examination seemed to play out as a battle of wills between the two men.

At one point, Darger told Keveney he didn’t trust him because he believed the lawyer had developed “prejudice and animosity” towards those with FLDS convictions.

The trial is in its fourth week.

Read More From This Series

Part 1: Tucson Lawyer Who Sued Arizona-Utah Towns For Discrimination Looks Ahead To DOJ Trial

Part 2: Federal Trial Will Examine Power Dynamics Of Polygamous Towns

Part 3: Sisters Raised In FLDS Church Question Justice Department Trial

Part 4: At Start Of Trial Against FLDS Towns, Both Sides Claim Religious Discrimination

Part 5: Officers' Letters Of Support For Fugitive FLDS Leader Presented In Court

Part 6: Letters To FLDS Leader In Prison Come Under Scrutiny

Part 7: Former FLDS Church Spokesman Testifies In Trial Against Towns

Part 8: Court Testimony Gives Look At Life Inside Polygamous Church Community

Part 9: Former Police Chief Testifies He Lied Under Oath Due To FLDS Church Pressure 

Part 10: Colorado City Mayor Invokes Fifth Amendment Right In Questioning By DOJ

Part 11: Defense Calls First Witness In Religious Discrimination Trial