By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A request from Laramie County’s district attorney to push back the date of her hearing before a group that oversees the behavior of attorneys has been denied, although she has been given more time to collect evidence in her case.
However, Christopher Hawks, chair of the hearing panel for the Board of Professional Responsibility, warned Leigh Anne Manlove against asking for any more delays in the hearing into allegations against her or seeking to add to the number of people she can interview to collect information.
“This hearing panel has gone to great lengths to afford (Manlove) the opportunity to engage in full and fair discovery to defend the formal charges against her,” read Hawks’ order denying Manlove’s request for a delay. “This hearing panel will not look favorably upon additional motions to continue or for additional discovery unless such motions are supported by far greater factual detail than (Manlove’s) prior motions and include compelling arguments, well-grounded in both fact and law.”
Manlove faces a formal charge before the BPR that she has not competently fulfilled the duties of the job she was elected to in November 2018, based in part on allegations that she exaggerated budget pressures to dismiss almost 1,000 cases in Laramie County and that she improperly blamed police for errors that led to the release of two men accused of violent crimes.
A hearing before the PRB on the charge is scheduled for Feb. 2-11 and on Oct. 19, Manlove asked for a delay in the hearing and for more time to collect evidence in support of her case, a process known as “discovery.”
Hawks, in his Thursday order, declined to postpone the hearing, but did allow Manlove until Jan. 5 for the discovery process.
The charge against Manlove is the result of several investigations launched by the Office of Bar Counsel to the Wyoming Bar and stems in part from a letter expressing concerns about her performance in office sent by all seven of Laramie County’s circuit and district court judges.
As part of her work to collect evidence, Manlove asked for subpoenas to interview 48 witnesses, including all seven of the judges.“(Manlove) has failed to establish good cause for the number and duration of the depositions she seeks to take in these maters,” the order said.
Hawks’ order allowed Manlove to take depositions from all seven judges, but said she must limit the depositions to two hours each. He also ruled that including any judges, Manlove can take depositions from only 19 people and can spend a total of only 70 hours doing so.