69-year-old Sheridan Resident Jim Craig plead not guilty to the charge of Practicing Without a License at his initial appearance Monday in Sheridan County Circuit Court. Charging documents state that in November of 2009, the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office became involved in an investigation after Craig had reportedly been legal counsel for a probationer and had been offering substance abuse counseling.
Further investigation revealed that at a delinquency hearing held in Sheridan County Circuit Court on November 17, 2009, Craig advised Circuit Court Judge John Sampson that he indeed was a licensed counselor in the State of Wyoming. During a December 3rd interview with law enforcement, Craig was asked about his representation in court claiming to be a licensed counselor and why he would say that if he knew that he wasn't licensed. Craig responded by saying “I honestly couldn't tell you” and that he didn't remember telling the Judge that he was a licensed counselor. Craig is employed with Cloud Peak Initiatives Inc. in Sheridan.
Craig's plea of not guilty to the alleged charge came before 6th Judicial District Court Judge Fred Dollison, as Judge Sampson removed himself from the courtroom prior to the proceedings. Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett recommended an unsecured bond for Craig, which Dollison approved. When asked about legal representation, Craig responded by saying that he intends to represent himself in the case.
The charge of Practicing Without a License is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $750, up to six months in jail, or any combination of both.