SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah commerce department officials say control of jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs' southern Utah-based church could spiral into a legal showdown if Jeffs fights to maintain power.
Senior church elder William E. Jessop filed papers with the Utah Department of Commerce on Monday to take over as president of the corporation that is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Jeffs has not formally resigned the presidency, and it's unclear whether he knew of Jessop's plans.
Commerce spokeswoman Jennifer Bolton said Tuesday all corporation filings are accepted with the assumption that individuals are operating in good faith.
If Jeffs challenges Jessop, she says, both sides would have 30 days to resolve the matter or the courts would be asked to settle the dispute.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)