State legal panel says Laramie County DA should pay $91,000 for hearing costs

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A group that oversees Wyoming attorneys is asking that the Laramie County district attorney be required to pay more than $91,000 in expenses for the hearing into the allegations against her.

The Board of Professional Responsibility, in its recommendation to the Wyoming Supreme Court, requested that Leigh Anne Manlove be required to reimburse the Wyoming State Bar nearly $91,197 for expenses related to the eight-day hearing by the Board of Professional Responsibility.

The recommendation is one of several recommendations included in the OPI’s final report into allegations that Manlove failed to competently discharge the duties of his office. The report also recommends that Manlove be barred from practicing law.

The Wyoming Supreme Court will decide whether the BPR’s recommendations will be followed.

An affidavit filed with the OPI’s report into the allegations against Manlove showed that the bulk of the expenses, nearly $64,636, was for accommodations, meals, meeting space and audio-visual needs at Cheyenne’s Little America, where the hearing took place.

The affidavit was released Tuesday along with other documents in response to a motion by Manlove to make the documents in his case a public record.

According to the affidavit, meeting space at Little America for hearings cost at least $1,500 a day. On a court day, February 4, the cost of the meeting room rose to $2,600.

A second, smaller meeting room set up for meals for BPR members and staff costs an additional $350 per day, and wireless Internet service, with a download speed of 25 megabytes per second, costs $825 per day.

Transcripts of the proceedings cost $12,882, according to the affidavit, and the expenses of the Law Society’s special counsel, the attorney investigating the allegations against Manlove, were $9,332.

The February hearing was held to allow the OPI to study the allegations against Manlove and determine what action to recommend to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

The charges against Manlove, elected in 2018, included allegations that she exaggerated the impact of budget cuts on her office to dismiss nearly 1,000 Laramie County court cases.

State Bar Special Counsel WW Reeves began his investigation into the allegations after the seven Laramie County judges wrote a letter expressing concerns about his performance in office.

Manlove has until May 2 to submit its response to the OPI’s recommendations.

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