The chairman of a state House committee investigating alleged wrongdoing at the Wyoming Department of Education under Superintendent Cindy Hill has asked that the investigation be halted until after the Legislature's budget session concludes in March.

Rep. Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, has heard no objections to his request, he said Monday.

"We’ve got far too much to do to get ready for the session," Lubnau said. "We can’t let this issue interfere with our other legislative duties which is, during this session, to pass a balanced budget."

The legislative session begins Feb. 10.

Committee members also want to see the results of an ongoing audit into some federal grants received by the education department, Lubnau said. According to testimony heard during three days of investigative meetings in Cheyenne this month, the audit is an annual review of any federal grant from which the agency has expended more than $500,000.

"That’s an important component that we just don’t have any control over," Lubnau said of the audit.

The audit will review several areas of concern for investigating lawmakers, including overtime payments made to an employee whose contract did not provide for overtime pay.

Education department spokesman Tom Lacock said Monday he has no information about when the audit will be complete. 

More witnesses

After hearing testimony from 16 witnesses in Cheyenne earlier this month, Hill filed a request for 38 more witnesses to testify under oath before the investigative committee concludes its work.

Her list of proposed witnesses includes Gov. Matt Mead, his chief of staff Kari Jo Gray, and Catherine MacPherson, the Rawlins-based attorney whose interviews comprised the initial report into Hill's time at the education department.

Several lawmakers want to hear from some of Hill's witnesses, Lubnau said Monday. A majority of the 16-person committee must support calling a witness before he or she can testify, according to committee rules.

Rep. Mark Baker, R-Rock Springs, said he supports questioning a few of Hill's proposed witnesses because they could bring new information to light.

"To do justice to our constituencies and the whole state of Wyoming, we should hear both sides of any number of issues and hear testimony from the superintendent's office," Baker said.

Of the 16 witnesses the committee called to testify in Cheyenne, two were employed in Hill's office. 

Baker also supports hearing again from Hill, who was "visibly tired" when she testified in Cheyenne, he said. During her roughly three hours of testimony, Hill responded to many inquiries by saying she could not recall key details. 

"Our testimony [from Hill] was an afternoon, but I don’t know if it was sufficient enough flesh out the details of any one of the topics that were brought up," Baker said.

Baker is the only committee member who supports hearing from more than one of Hill's witnesses, according to Lubnau, the committee chairman.

Six representatives support hearing from John Masters, an attorney for the superintendent's office, Lubnau said. But six votes is not a majority, which committee rules say is necessary before a new witness can be called.

Hill denied wrongdoing throughout her testimony in Cheyenne earlier this month. She said she followed every law and policy while leading the Wyoming Department of Education from January 2011 to early 2013, when a new state law transferred many of her duties to a governor-appointed director.

Hill did not respond to the Star-Tribune's requests for comment Monday.

Reach education reporter Leah Todd at 307-266-0592 or Follow her on Twitter @leahktodd.

(8) comments


Lubnau wants to wait until after the legislative session to continue the invesigation? Really? Impeach her with less than a year to serve! Does Tom Lubnau visit Colorado a lot? Apparently they have not found any smokng guns. Some kids in Fremont County read better after she bent the rules to assist them. Now the Wyoming voters have been stripped of there right and responsibility to pick the top educaton official in the state. Governor "Gas Tax Mead" sent his head hunters after Hill and came up short. Now Lubnau has taken his shot and drew a blank. How much more should the Wyoming voter put up with? They have already burned her at the stake and it is a little late for the witch Hunt.


this is some of the most double talk for we dont have enough to get her so we need time to fabercate more evidence but we dont want any of her evidence to get in by witness testimony. this is at best tragic.


This gets smellier all of the time. It sounds more like what they get from corrupt politics back east. The hearing should have taken place BEFORE the state decided to hire a good ol boy with more wasted tax dollars, and without a hearing for Cindy Hill. This sort of hearing should have been conducted prior to stripping her of her duties. It has always been obvious that if there had been just cause for what was done, they would have had the hearing before hiring another guy. I think they thought she would take the money and keep quiet. It makes me wonder about the agenda of the guy put into her job.


This entire process is a travesty !! So what if an employee was paid overtime- they can't exceed the amount of the contract. By paying OT the amount of the contract was not increased.


Lets see they have spent 160,000 dollars to do nothing. the Governor spent $100,000. That's over a 1/4 of a million dollars and they have done nothing. There have been two investigations, they have had prosecution witnesses testify under oath and they aren't one bit closer than they were when this started during the last legislative secession. If they decide to impeach there will have to be a special secession of the legislature called and who knows how long that will take or what it will cost. You can bet it will be a week or 10 days and a what cost? Less than a month ago Lubnau was saying the investigation would be done by before the start of the legislative session. All of this could have been handled in one day in Nov. at no cost to the taxpayers. What a joke?


Stalling? Why prolong the torchure?

Nathan Bedford
Nathan Bedford

There is a bit more too it folks.

While the $1,000,000 (yes million) the governor and soon to be former speaker Tom Lubnau spent initially harassing Cindy Hill found nothing, the latest audit did find some very bad stuff.

The last audit covered 7 months of Hill and 5 months of used car salesman playing education leader Richard Crandall. Long story short: Cindy remains squeaky clean but illegal contracts and misuse of the state plane for personal use are rampant under Crandall.

Very bad form for Lubnau and the good ol' boys to publicize this, hence they're going to try to bury it until after the session.

Now that should give you and the boys something to talk about at the Frat House after each day's session Tom.


Of course you have a source for these allegations, right?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.