Laramie, WY – The Wyoming Supreme Court publicly censured Sublette County Circuit Court Judge John Crow today. He retired last month. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics says Crow didn't exercise appropriate oversight of his court clerk, Jacqueline Ingersoll. Ingersoll is also his wife. Ingersoll's behavior allegedly caused three deputy clerks to quit within a five-month period in 2005 and 2006. The clerks allegedly told state judicial officials that Ingersoll was abusive and that working for her was stressful. Ingersoll quit as court clerk last February.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming Business Council CEO Tucker Fagen is resigning. Fagen submitted his letter of resignation to the business council and they will determine when he will leave his post. Fagen says he is going into business with his family. He took the job in 2000. He says he is pleased with the progress Wyoming has made in the area of economic development.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming house continues working on a bill that will reform the state eminent domain laws. The house adopted an amendment that the sponsor says will bring more fairness to a landowner whose property must be condemned. Representative Kermit Brown of Laramie says it should allow the property owner to better prove the value of his property. The house will vote on the bill for a final time on Friday.
Cheyenne, WY – Two bills dealing with hazing and bullying got initial support from the Wyoming House of Representatives. Laramie Democrat Jane Warren brought a bill to prohibit hazing. She says there is no current prohibition against hazing in Wyoming. This would make it a misdemeanor. The house also debated a bill by Representative Kathy Davison to outlaw any harassment or bullying in schools. Both measures will be debated two more times by the house.
Cheyenne, WY – The House Judiciary Committee heard heated public testimony on an abortion bill that would change the state's pre-abortion procedures. The measure would require Wyoming doctors who perform abortions to tell their patients about alternatives to abortion. The doctors would also have to inform women of potential risks and side effects. Numerous doctors, women who've had abortions, and family planning representatives testified for and against the bill. Several people say the bill includes inaccurate medical information.
Sheridan, Wy – The ballot machines in Sheridan County worked perfectly last November. That's the message from officials who oversaw a hand-review of the ballots this week. Out of more than 11-thousand ballots, only a handful were filled out improperly. For example, on a few ballots, voters chose more than one candidate. But for each of the improper ballots, the machines did what most election judges would do: they did not award any candidate the vote in that race. Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle says he was surprised the machines were so consistent and pleased.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming may join other states that have changed their eminent domain laws. This happened after the U-S Supreme Court ruled that government can seize private property and turn it over to another private entity for commercial development. The state House had its first debate on the measure. Representative Doug Samuelson says it's important to many. He says there are few bad actors but some protections for property owners are necessary. This bill puts in law the steps a public or private entity must go through to take private property.
Cheyenne, Wy – More sex offenders in Wyoming may have to register online. Currently that is limited to high risk offenders, but the state House of Representatives passed a bill that would list all people convicted of a sex offense. It would also include offenders as far back as 1985. Representative Ed Buchanan says this will make communities safer. The bill also increases the frequency an offender must check in with law enforcement. There was almost no opposition to the proposal.
Cheyenne, WY – The state and the federal government don't have much more time to compromise over wolf management this year. The compromise has to come before the end of the legislative session at the beginning of March. State Senator Bruce Burns is one of the people working on the compromise. He says nothing has changed since the weekend, but the legislature is moving forward with two proposals. Burns says right now the negotiations involve a lot of "hard nosed dickering."