The group overseeing the behavior of attorneys will recommend Laramie County’s District Attorney be disbarred for violating multiple rules of professional conduct, a Wyoming State Bar Association spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
Brandi Robinson, Board of Professional Responsibility clerk, told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that the board’s three-member hearing panel, after more than a week of hearings, will recommend to the Wyoming Supreme Court that Leigh Anne Manlove be barred from the practice of law.
Manlove’s disciplinary hearing began on Feb. 2, and on Thursday, the panel found her in violation of several rules of professional conduct, including engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
Manlove will be able to appeal the decision.
The hearing was to held to investigate allegations against Manlove brought by the Office of Bar Counsel, the attorney for the Wyoming State Bar, including that she exaggerated the impact of budget cuts on her office to dismiss almost 1,000 cases from Laramie County courts.
In a late January interview, Manlove noted that some of the criticism she has received has stemmed from her decision to dismiss 400 cases in late 2020 due to furloughs in her office and other financial and labor-related pressures.
“It is a lot of cases, but when you look at them, they were things like dog off the leash, failure to yield at the stop sign,” she said. “There were a handful of non-violent felony cases. If I have to prioritize my limited resources to ensure smaller government is happening, then I’m not going to prosecute those kinds of events.”
While she said she understood the criticism, she did not feel it was justified for a small group of people to try and supersede the will of Laramie County voters by removing her from office, she said.
Additionally, she claimed one of the reasons the allegations were filed against her was because she asked the Cheyenne Police Department to do more investigation in a case where a crime had been committed against a child.
“Instead of doing that, the lieutenant who was in charge of the detective division at the time worked with the City of Cheyenne and the Office of the Bar Counsel to file a lawsuit against me,” she told radio host Glenn Woods.
A GoFundMe campaign to help Manlove pay for her legal fees was also launched last month. It has raised about $3,100 of its $20,000 goal as of Friday.