There is “no material or legal basis” for my withdrawal
Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Grant Manlove said she was “confident there was no material or legal basis” for her impeachment.
A formal charge accusing Manlove of incompetence, unprofessionalism and mismanagement of workload was filed with the Wyoming State Bar Board of Professional Responsibility last month.
Manlove issued the following statement on Wednesday regarding his formal response to the bar’s attorneys office:
I am happy to be able to now share information with my constituents to shed light on the criticisms I have received as a District Attorney from our Laramie County judges and the Bar Lawyers Office. In a season of unprecedented variables, it is important for the citizens of Laramie County to know the carefully weighed actions I have taken and why.
The roles of the bar lawyer and the professional responsibility of the board are important. Lawyers need to control our work, and I have great respect for the institution as a whole. My formal and complete response should be evaluated by those who elected me, as I am satisfied that there is no material or legal basis for this attempted administrative dismissal of my elected post as Laramie County District Attorney.
I am passionate about my job, and I stand by the personnel change decisions I made early in my tenure under Wyoming law to rebuild my team. The work of a prosecutor is inextricably linked with suffering or loss, and it can exhaust people; and I support those who have left our office to pursue other opportunities. Some of the people who chose to leave did so because of the dynamics of our huge workload: challenges related to COVID-19, shrinking state budget, mandatory time off, cutting staff positions, and stress. that accompanies these jobs.
In the wake of a historic energy slowdown, COVID-19 has affected state revenues in staggering ways. Our office has been required to implement budget cuts in accordance with Governor Gordon’s directives. A state hiring freeze has been implemented, with a warning of larger budget cuts to come. Then comes the elimination of a position and compulsory holidays for workers. I had to make priority decisions on which cases our office could pursue given the reduction in resources and the obligations of our caseload, and I knew I was going to receive criticism. It comes with the territory. My constituents know that I will not hesitate to make the difficult decisions that arise from the privilege of holding this position.
As in any organization, there are challenges. Our team is human, and in an office with thousands of filings per year, there will be occasional mistakes. When mistakes do occur, it can impact justice for victims, which I take seriously. Our office will continue to tirelessly serve this community.
Neither the bar lawyers nor our honorable district and circuit judges have been able to demonstrate that I have breached my obligations, which I have confidently known throughout this process. Although it is a difficult time, I am proud of our work, my management of the district attorney’s office and the discretion wielded by the executive branch of government in prosecuting matters. I will continue to work diligently in service to the people of Laramie County and the State of Wyoming.
WATCH: Leigh Anne Manlove’s Response
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