By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A complaint (see below) calling state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, “combative” and “disrespectful” was filed with the president of the state Senate one day before the body voted to remove him from all legislative committees.
The complaint from Eric Boley, president of the Wyoming Hospital Association, was sent in a formal letter to Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, on Wednesday.
“Sen. Anthony Bouchard’s behavior this past year has consistently been combative and disrespectful to the witnesses, committee members and the chairman,” Boley wrote. “He has been consistently disruptive to the work of the committee and has had a chilling effect on people wishing to offer public testimony.”
Boley said that Bouchard has launched attacks against other lobbyists and him when they try to speak on important topics about Wyoming health care.
He added that Bouchard uses bullying and intimidation tactics, which Boley said he believed should be brought to Dockstader’s attention.
Boley pointed to one such incident that allegedly occurred earlier this week, when he was approached by Bouchard and Sen. Tom James, R-Rock Springs, about an amendment to a bill he had been asked to prepare for consideration by the Senate.
“They entered my personal space and confronted me in an abusive and demanding tone and tried to intimidate me with their body language,” Boley wrote.
Boley said he delivered the amendment to another senator as requested by the chairman of a Senate committee, but Bouchard was “furious” at Boley for not directly delivering it to him. He said Bouchard threatened him with a video that would “expose the fear mongering and fear tactics hospitals were using during the pandemic.”
“I believe [Bouchard] keeps people from testifying in committee because they are afraid of his attacks and aggressive behavior,” he wrote. “I don’t think he should have the privilege to stay on the committee when he has such a track record of complete disrespect to me and the public at large.”
Bouchard did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Friday.
Boley continued in the letter, saying that Bouchard yelled at him and called him a “liar” during an interim committee meeting in September.
On Thursday, the Cheyenne senator was stripped of his committee assignments for intimidating and disorderly conduct. The motion to remove Bouchard from his committee assignments was made by Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, who did not provide details on the incidents that spurred the allegations.
James argued on Thursday before the Senate voted to remove Bouchard from his committees that there were no threatening tactics committed against Boley, although he was not named.
“There was no threatening tactics,” James said. “It was just a matter of saying that we’re going to be transparent about what happened. There was nothing threatening.”
Bouchard, in his testimony on Thursday, downplayed the significance of his promise to create a video and said he was still planning on it.
Bouchard has served in the Senate since 2017 and was re-elected in 2020 to a 4-year term. He is running against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in the GOP primary for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat.
He has regularly been an opponent of COVID-related regulations.