State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Cindy Hill, has threatened legislators with a lawsuit over their recently published white paper detailing the reasons for why they adopted reforms stripping Hill of many of her duties. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy has the story.
The ongoing battle between State Superintendent Cindy Hill and legislators who voted to remove much of her power over the Wyoming Department of Education is a war of words.
As we reported earlier this month, a group of bipartisan legislators published a report detailing their reasoning behind Senate File 104 - the bill Hill has called unconstitutional. But in a letter sent to state legislators this week, including Representative Rosie Berger, Hill's legal team is now threatening a lawsuit over allegedly defamatory comments made in that report, also known as the white paper.
Representing Hill is Emblem-based attorney, Robert J. DiLorenzo. He asserts that the explanation given by legislators in the white paper as to why they voted to strip Hill of many of her powers and duties is libelous. Additionally, he claims that legislators may have known parts of the report were false and that they engaged in a reckless disregard for the truth.
Speaker Tom Lubnau responded to the letter in a media release by saying he will resist any efforts to intimidate any legislator for explaining why they voted a certain way on any piece of legislation.
And Hill says legislators planned on taking her down as a result of what she calls her successful revitalization of the state education system.
But during discussion over Senate File 104, which was signed into law by Governor Matt Mead, legislators said Hill failed to implement significant educational reform across the state.
Segments of the white paper highlighted as allegedly libelous by Hill's attorney include assertions that no one, Hill included, can hijack an agency and fail to implement the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, as well as a statement that the Department of Education was failing to fulfill its obligations due to Hill's leadership.
To read a copy of both the white paper and the letter from Hill's attorney, click on the attachments below. And be sure to stay tuned as we hear local legislators respond to the threat of this lawsuit.