Legislators, Once Again, Deny Hill's Input

State Superintendent Cindy Hill
State Superintendent Cindy Hill

Wyoming's state education superintendent says, once again, she's been denied an opportunity to plead her case.

Superintendent Cindy Hill said the Wyoming Department of Education refused to allow her to attend an audit conference held Monday. In a statement released from her office, she said the education department's chief financial officer, Dianne Bailey, testified under oath she would be invited, but when Hill's staff called the department to confirm the time and place for the meeting, she was denied the right to attend, which cut off any further discussion.

This latest incident follows a three-day legislative hearing in which 14 people were given the opportunity to speak out against Hill and only she and one other were allowed to speak on her behalf. She's been accused of misspending funds and creating a hostile environment from the time she took office, until her powers were stripped.

Following this latest shunning, Hill said her staff contacted the auditors to request a separate briefing, which they initially were receptive to, until the state's principle auditor, Jeff Vogel, intervened and told her she would not be allowed to meet with them. She said she didn't know what questions the auditors might have, if any, but would think they'd want her input because she was in-charge of the agency for seven of the 12 months under review. Clearly, she said, someone had issued a directive that her input is not welcomed.

She said she's at a loss to understand why some people are reluctant to allow all relevant facts to be shared with the auditors. This is not the first time Hill has questioned secrecy in government. During the hearings last week, she pointed out several instances where the attorneys for the committee wanted only part of the facts and seemed unwilling to discuss more than their selected questions. She said she's made every effort to be open, honest and transparent, but it's apparent to her that others are threatened by the truth.

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