Riverton, Wy – The chairman of the Fremont County
Commission says the county has plenty of funding to challenge a
lawsuit over its at-large system of electing commissioners.
And Doug Thompson says that settling with the American Civil
Liberties Union is NOT an option.
Most of the Wind River Indian Reservation is in Fremont County.
But although nearly 20 percent of the county's population is
American Indian, none of the five county commissioners is Indian.
The A-C-L-U claims that amounts to discrimination and filed suit in
federal court in Cheyenne last month.
Thompson says other counties have settled similar lawsuits
brought by the A-C-L-U because they didn't have funding for a legal
Laughlin McDonald, a A-C-L-U attorney based in Atlanta, says the county has a right to challenge the lawsuit. But he says it's in the interest of all voters in Fremont County to
resolve the case.
Fremont County voters in 1992 turned down a ballot initiative to
create five separate commission districts.