Fiery testimony at FLDS discrimination trial

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Colorado City Town Manager David Darger repeatedly told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not "control" or "direct" the municipal governments of the two border towns. (Source: 3TV) Colorado City Town Manager David Darger repeatedly told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not "control" or "direct" the municipal governments of the two border towns. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Jurors hearing the Justice Department's discrimination case against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT were treated on Wednesday to some of the fieriest and contentious testimony to date in the monthlong trial.

Defense lawyers called Colorado City Town Manager David Darger to the stand.

Darger repeatedly told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not "control" or "direct" the municipal governments of the two border towns.

Under gentle questioning by defense attorney Jeff Matura, Darger was asked if "any religious leader directed you to hire" city cops and city workers.

"No," was his response.

Darger also denied the government's allegation that non-FLDS residents in the twin towns are discriminated against.

"We have no desire to discriminate against anyone," he told the court.

The mood then took a decided turn when Justice Department lawyer Sean Keveney began his cross-examination.

Darger accused the Justice Department of "reverse discrimination" against Colorado City and Hildale.

He also accused Keveney of "developing a prejudice against" the FLDS people.

This is not the first time Darger has been a player in a high-profile courtroom drama.

Several years ago Darger, along with then Colorado City Fire Chief Jake Barlow, pleaded guilty to misuse of public funds after the two men were busted for misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars from the Colorado City Fire District.

Despite the guilty plea, Darger kept his job as town manager and today was a key witness for the defense in this high-stakes trial.

Outside court, Darger declined to answer any of my questions.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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