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Chief ousted from Help Child Brides

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ST. GEORGE — Help the Child Brides director Bob Curran, who voiced his concerns Tuesday that anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop was jeopardizing the group's credibility, has apparently paid a price for speaking out.

Jessop, in a 9 p.m. Tuesday conference call with fellow Help the Child Brides board members Jim Ashurst and Jay Beswick, voted to remove Curran from his position with the group.

Curran, who is also a member of the board of directors, was not included in the call. He was informed of the decision through an e-mail from Ashurst.

"It's kind of ironic, isn't it? I put them on the board a couple of months ago, and they're getting rid of me," Curran said Wednesday morning "I'm just exhausted with this. I have a great sense of loss and sadness."

The split between Curran and Jessop comes on the heels of unsubstantiated claims by Jessop that she is harboring six teenage runaways from the polygamist towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

Jessop insists she is in touch with the runaway youths and is working with Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard to put the teens in protective custody. No official reports of runaway children have been received by any agency that normally is involved in such issues.