Official Hildale City Press Release


MAY 16,2018


(Hildale, Utah) The Hildale City Council has decided to voluntarily dismiss its appeal in the case of United States v. Town of Colorado City eta/ ., currently pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case began in June 2012, when the U.S. Department of Justice sued Hildale City and the neighboring Town of Colorado City, alleging violations of various federal laws prohibiting religious discrimination. Following a jury trial spanning more than six weeks, Hildale and Colorado City were found in violation of two federal statutes with regard to policing and fair housing.

To protect against future discrimination, the judge presiding over the case ordered an injunction that required Hildale City to enact significant changes to its operations, ordinances, regulations, policies and procedures, as well as to subject itself to ongoing court oversight over a ten-year period.

Following this outcome, Hildale City decided together with Colorado City to appeal the district court’s judgment to the Ninth Circuit. In a joint brief, the municipalities argued that the judge had made significant factual and legal errors in ruling that they had engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing, and further that the judge had improperly allowed the jury to consider evidence of statements by the leadership of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints . The appeal is still in the briefing phase, and oral arguments have not yet been set.

In January of this year, Hildale City’s new Mayor, Donia Jessop, and three new Council members were sworn in, resulting in a historic shift of the City’s leadership . The shift appears to have been fueled in part by strong public discontent with previous municipal actions, and a perception that those actions led ultimately to the federal court’s finding against the City. After months of careful deliberation, the City  Council came to the unanimous conclusion that continuing the appeal at the Ninth Circuit would not be in the City’s best interest. Implicit in this decision is the value that Hildale City should be looking to the future, not the past – placing the City’s focus on protecting the rights of all its citizens, regardless of religion or any other constitutionally protected status. Says Mayor Jessop, “This is an effort to help the community move forward, heal, and prosper, as well as establish trust with the citizens and our partners in the state and federal governments. The City of Hildale is making a stand for integrity.”

To carry this decision into effect, Hildale City will be working with the court, the Town of Colorado City, and the Department of Justice to work out appropriate terms of a dismissal.  For its part, Colorado City is anticipated to continue pursuing its appeal of the judgment.

For questions, please contact the Hildale City Attorney, Christian Kesselring, at 435-874-2323 or christiank@hildalecity .com.

Press Release: Community Message No. 3 on E.coli Outbreak

Update (7-14-17, 4:30pm): Investigation of the E. coli outbreak continues with the combined efforts of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Mohave County Department of Health, Utah Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. These agencies have also been joined by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Confirmed case count remains at 11.
  • The source of this outbreak has not been identified.
  • Because coli can be passed from several different sources, including person to person, it is always important to follow these practices to prevent infection:
    • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and changing diapers, after contact with animals or environments with exposure to animal feces, and before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat.
    • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
    • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk, dairy products, and juices.
    • Don’t swallow water when swimming.

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Press Release: Community Message on E.coli Outbreak

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is working closely with the Mohave County Department of Public Health in an ongoing investigation of the E.coli outbreak that was recently detected in the Hildale/Colorado City community. This outbreak includes a strain of E.coli bacteria that can lead to serious illness. While the source of this outbreak has not yet been identified and details about individual cases are not being released, health department officials want to inform the community about the following:

• All water samples tested so far have shown to be safe for use, including city water systems.

• Handle raw meat carefully: keep it separate from other foods and store it in sealed packaging on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces that have contacted raw meat and do not set cooked meat back onto a possibly contaminated surface. Cook ground meat, poultry, and leftovers to 165° degrees, and whole meat to 145°.

• Refrigerate all food that could spoil. Food should be refrigerated at 40° degrees or lower within two hours of being left out and one hour or less if left out in heat 90° degrees or higher.

• Continue to practice thorough hand washing after contact with raw meat or animals, after changing diapers and using the restroom, and before and after preparing food. E.coli can be transferred when tiny particles of feces enter the mouth from contaminated hands, food, water, and unpasteurized dairy/juice products. People who experience symptoms of E.coli; including stomach cramps, mild fever, nausea, vomiting,, and diarrhea (often bloody), should seek medical care.

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Press Release: U.S. District Court Injuctive Order


COLORADO CITY, ARIZONA/HILDALE, UTAH (April 19, 2017)- A new chapter has opened  for the Town of Colorado City, Arizona, and the City of Hildale, Utah, with the close of  litigation in Federal Court and an injunctive order issued on April 18, 2017, by United  States District Judge, H. Russel Holland. The Cities are ready to comply with the Court  order and heal our communities to ensure that the constitutional rights of all citizens are upheld.

The Cities have already implemented or initiated many of the changes and improvements  that have been ordered by the Court. For example, the water connection ordinance that  was adopted in 2010 was repealed, and water service regulations were updated. Also, each  city has established a website with access to applications, meeting notices, ordinances, etc.  The Town of Colorado City retained a police practices expert several months ago to bring  the Marshal’s Office forward in nationally recognized police practices and professional  standards which includes systems for accountability to prevent Constitutional violations.  He has assisted the Cities in implementing a review of policies, practices and structure of  the Marshal’s Office. He has also conducted focused training on Constitutional policing and  community problem solving in a pro-active effort to provide unbiased and fair policing  services.

The Marshal’s Office has implemented a strategic plan to accelerate compliance with the  federal guidelines in the best interest of the citizens and to improve police delivery  systems. The Marshal’s Office is also prepared to work with regional law enforcement to  provide services to the citizens of our community, and to build a relationship with  surrounding counties.

The Cities are going forward to a bright future, and although resources may be limited, the  public can appreciate additional changes and improvements that will continue as quickly as  possible. It is our intent and desire to provide the best services possible and maintain the  safety of all citizens of our community.


Blake Hamilton, Attorney at Law
Durham, Jones & Pinegar, P.C.
111 South Main, Suite 2400
P.O.Box 4050
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Phone: 801-415-3000
Fax: 801-415-3500

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