Jury selection begins in trial against 2 polygamous towns

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Prospective jurors were asked about their feelings concerning the federal government and the FLDS church in a Phoenix courtroom on Tuesday.

Some 45 men and women answered the questions as lawyers tried to find 12 jurors to hear the Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against the twin border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona.

Several of the potential jurors expressed distrust toward the government and one man said that "Colorado City and Hildale were run by the FLDS church."

In their lawsuit, federal government lawyers allege the two isolated communities are in fact run by the FLDS church and it's imprisoned prophet Warren Jeffs.

The suit goes on to allege that the municipal governments of the two towns, the public utilities and the local police force all work to the benefit of Jeffs and engage in a "pattern and practice" of discriminating against the community's non-FLDS members.

Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow declined to comment on his way into court on Tuesday afternoon.

Lawyers for the two towns have denied allegations.

Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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