hill meet

Top lawmakers invite embattled Wyoming schools chief Cindy Hill to meet Friday

2013-07-09T07:00:00Z 2013-07-16T20:43:17Z Top lawmakers invite embattled Wyoming schools chief Cindy Hill to meet FridayBy JOAN BARRON Star-Tribune capital bureau Casper Star-Tribune Online

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is expected to show up at a meeting of legislative leaders Friday to be sure she gets a fair shake in a new investigation.

The House and Senate leaders, sitting as the Legislature’s Management Council, will decide whether to impanel a House committee to investigate information in a recent report that, among other things, said she may have misused federal funds when she ran the state Department of Education.

They also will decide who will sit on the panel if it is approved. House Speaker Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, has asked the Legislature Management Council for the investigation. He wants the panel to include members of the House Rules and Procedures Committee.

In an earlier letter to Lubnau, Hill objected to the plan on the ground that all members of the House Rules committee voted for Senate File 104 in this year’s legislative session.

That law stripped Hill of her authority over the state Department of Education and placed it under a new director appointed by the governor.

The bill left Hill with a separate office and staff and general supervisory duties over education. Hill claims she cannot get a fair hearing before the House Rules Committee. To insure her due process, she asked for an investigatory committee that includes House members who voted on both sides of the bill.

In a letter released Monday, Lubnau said that SF104 “had little or nothing to do with whether or not you have violated the public trust, despite the spin to the contrary.” The bill was a department reorganization that was long overdue, he said. The investigative committee, he said, is solely about Hill’s conduct.

He said he suggested assigning the task to the House Rules and Procedures Committee to avoid another lawsuit or threat of one.

He noted the historical precedence of using the House Rules Committee in previous similar matters.

Although Lubnau said he has complete confidence in the committee, he said he believes the management council will be amendable to any constructive suggestion Hill may have.

Senate President Tony Ross, R-Cheyenne, is head of the Legislature’s Management Council, which is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Friday in the Capitol Building in Cheyenne.

The purpose of the Legislature’s investigative committee is to follow up on a recent inquiry led by Rawlins attorney Cathy MacPherson.

The team issued a 185-page report that contained accounts of possible misuse of the state airplane, improper spending and employee complaints of a hostile workplace.

Hill has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing on her part. Her lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of SF 104 is pending before the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, no part of a confidential report compiled by McPherson’s team has been released to the public.

Two other audits, including one that may involve the U.S. Department of Education, have yet to be started.

Hill, who has support from the tea party movement, has about 18 months left in her first elected term as state school superintendent.

Contact Joan Barron at 307-632-1244 or joan.barron@trib.com.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. WYOREPUBLICAN
    Report Abuse
    WYOREPUBLICAN - July 11, 2013 1:14 pm
    I only offered you food for thought with good and honest intentions. I’m sorry you feel the need to attack me. I am very secure in my beliefs, thank you. Why would you suggest that I should sit this one out? You know I can't do that. Aren’t you open to the ideas and thoughts of others? I hope someday you’re able to connect the dots…
  2. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - July 11, 2013 6:49 am
    Wyo Repub

    I didn't mention politics or political parties in this discussion and never have. So why did you? Do you really feel that insecure in your beliefs? Perhaps you should sit this one out.
  3. Wyoite
    Report Abuse
    Wyoite - July 10, 2013 3:37 am
    WyoRepub- The Trib, Huff Post, and others are trying to marginalize Cindy. Even you think that she is supported by some small group of right wing tea party folks. You are all wrong. Look at the vote totals from the REPUBLICAN primary in 2010- she received 17,000 more votes int he primary than Mead did.

    Follow that up with the drubbing Mead received from the leadership of the REPUBLICAN party in the State and it's clear. Cindy enjoys wide-spread support in the State despite attempts to marginalize her supporters.

    I don't think Cindy will be a great Governor. However, Mead and the Lubby-Stubby-Teet has forced this showdown by requiring her to run for Governor if she is to make a difference in the life and education of Wyoming students, which is what she was elected to do.

  4. WYOREPUBLICAN
    Report Abuse
    WYOREPUBLICAN - July 09, 2013 9:06 pm
    Sassy,

    Do you honestly think Supt. Hill is the highest quality candidate to support with your Tea Party resources in the upcoming race for Gov? You may want to consider other possibilities, maybe someone with a less damaged image to rally behind. If you really want your Tea Party to have a fighting chance at that office, please consider this carefully over the next few month and talk about it with your "folks" up there, etc., if you know what I mean..
  5. HarlyD
    Report Abuse
    HarlyD - July 09, 2013 5:59 pm
    Along with Matt Meads and Coes. Mead you are done as govenor of the great state of Wyoming, you have dissed the people enough. You are not the King you think you are.
  6. Wyoite
    Report Abuse
    Wyoite - July 09, 2013 9:37 am
    Who is this Lubnau fruitcake?? I sure don't recall electing him. Someone needs to fire this yahoo who has no respect for our state-wide elected officials.

    So- If I understand this article the State legislature is going to hold hearings on whether Federal funds were spent by WDE for the right things? Prior to a US Dept of Ed doing the same thing? Wow- the legislature must have a lot of money and time to waste. How about we cut their funding?
  7. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - July 09, 2013 8:54 am
    Rep Lubnau

    I find your comments to Supt. Hill, callous, disrespectful and without regard to the use State of Wyoming Seal and Letterhead.

    You sir have disgraced yourself and the Legislative body of the State of Wyoming. The voters of Wyoming will accept your resignation at any time.

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