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Judge throws out complaint against Somerton pastor

SOMERTON, Ariz. (AP) — A judge in Yuma has thrown out a criminal complaint against a pastor who was accused of doing illegal renovations on his church building.

The Yuma Sun reports Judge Manuel Figueroa ruled this month in favor of a motion by Pastor Stephen Henry’s attorney, Ryan Hengl, to reject the complaint, finding that the suspension order issued by the city did not state reasons the city was requiring the work be halted.

Figueroa also found in favor of the defense’s argument Henry had been denied his right to appeal the order.

The city issued an order a year ago that Henry stop replacing lighting and wiring at his church, Iglesia Bautista de Somerton. The city also filed a complaint in Municipal Court alleging he had failed to get a building permit.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. There is a lot more to this story, the US DOJ intervention, the total of 4 criminal class 1 misdemeanor charges, and the Registrar of Contractors’ complaint, which all resulted from the City of Somerton from this single incident of repairing the church lights. The ROC complaint is still pending in court to be decided in Dec 2017. When the City said they didn’t want a church on Main Street next to City Hall, there were serious. It is not easy to start a church just anywhere, if the City and state agencies don’t want you to.

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