SALT LAKE CITY -- A trial began in Phoenix Wednesday in a civil-rights lawsuit that says municipal officials loyal to a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border denied a household water connection to a family that doesn't belong to the church.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Arizona Assistant Attorney General Sandra Kane accused the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of using public utilities as a weapon of discrimination.
Kane says Ronald Cooke was denied a water hook-up when he returned with a family in 2008 to his boyhood town of Short Creek- a collective name for Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
Lawyers for the towns insisted in opening arguments that a water shortage was the reason for refusing service.
The trial is expected to last eight weeks.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com