Seven lawyers in Utah are violating the rules of conduct because they are polygamists, according to a new complaint filed with the state Bar Association.
A woman named Melissa Ellis who belonged to a polygamous group from northern Utah has filed the complaint. Ellis believes Utah should take action against polygamists holding public office or professional licenses, according to The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.
Law professor at the University of Utah, Linda F. Smith, said the complaint is unlikely to result in any disciplinary measure.
“Lawyers are polygamists in this state for a long time,” Smith said. “This is not new.”
Billy Walker, chief legal advisor on disciplinary matters at a professional ethics office that handles complaints about the Utah Bar Association, told The Associated Press that the organization is not allowed to make complaints statements.
One of the lawyers included in the complaint is Paul E. Kingston, also a leader of a polygamous group called the Davis County Cooperative Society. Kingston did not respond at the moment to a message that the AP left him in his office to make statements.
The Tribune reported that all the lawyers accused in the complaint declined to comment.
Ellis said that “the state does not take any action or anything” and added that polygamy is “illegal, and they know it.”
The law in Utah considers polygamy a serious crime and punishes it with up to five years in prison and with 15 years if it includes charges of fraud and physical abuse.