A transplanted California couple has accused local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of conspiring to run them out of southeastern Idaho.
Gary McDonald and his wife, Carol, are demanding $4 million from leaders of the "predominately Mormon-controlled cities and towns of Bear Lake County," who they say are trying to drive them out of St. Charles because they do not belong to the church. McDonald's ex-wife is also implicated in the plot.The leader of the LDS Church congregation in St. Charles, Bishop Jaren Pugmire, said on Wednesday that he just became aware of the federal court lawsuit and had no comment.
The McDonalds, who moved to the shore of Bear Lake to operate an auto repair and machine shop, said their ostracism was "directed and overseen by the St. Charles LDS Church Ward, its bishops and priesthood holders."
Among others accused of civil rights violations and violations of federal racketeering, harassment and stalking laws are 6th District Judge Don Harding, who lives in the neighboring county, County Magistrate Lynn Brower, Prosecutor Ardee Helm and Sheriff Brent Bunn.
The McDonalds claim the community leaders tried to destroy their business and family relationships through harassment, intimidation, ridicule and slander and then tried to cover up the conspiracy.
In the suit, the McDonalds claimed McDonald's ex-wife, Tonya, broke into their house to rob them and was not prosecuted and that local Fish and Game Department agents conducted an illegal search of their home solely to harass them and their two children.