The state police certification board decided Wednesday to take action against Colorado City’s top police official and a police officer after their certifications were pulled in Utah on accusations of having multiple wives.
Police Marshal Samuel M. Roundy and officer Vance W. Barlow will have 30 days to request a hearing with the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board or their state police certifications could be revoked, said executive director Tom Hammarstrom.
Roundy and Barlow, who live in the polygamous community of Colorado City on the Arizona-Utah border, also contracted police services to the neighboring town of Hildale, Utah. Their Utah police certifications were pulled March 22 on the grounds they were practicing polygamy, which is illegal in that state. No criminal charges were brought against them.
In Arizona, polygamy is not a criminal offense, but it is prohibited under the state Constitution.
"We are now taking action against their certification in Arizona based on the fact that they were decertified in Utah," Hammarstrom said.
Arizona courts tried a similar case against the town marshal there in the late 1980s that was based solely on accusations that he was practicing polygamy.
After lengthy litigation, an administrative law judge found that no action should be taken based solely on the practice of polygamy, concluding that the practice didn’t injure the public trust in that community.
About 9,000 people live in Colorado City, which was settled by a group of fundamentalist Mormons at the turn of the century after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outlawed polygamy.