A special public meeting was called Wednesday morning by the Johnson County Commission to discuss a bill submitted by County Assessor Cindy Rogers for legal advice on the proposed lease of Lake DeSmet by the Wyoming Game and Fish.
Commissioner Johns Gibbs brought the meeting to order and explained the situation further.
County Attorney Ken DeCock explained that the numerous interpretations he has received from attorneys at the State Attorney General's Office and elsewhere have confirmed his belief that this constitutes outside legal counsel, which created a situation where the county would not be responsible for the fees.
The counsel was sought by Rogers to get an opinion on the lease and whether Johnson and Sheridan Counties could be held responsible for taxes if the lease is signed by the two entities.
Rogers said in the meeting she has paid the roughly $5,000 in legal fees and would gladly do so if it meant being able to do her job properly and protect the taxpayers from a potentially huge tax burden.
She explained her reasoning for seeking legal counsel.
The Commissioners took no action on the matter at the special meeting.