The complaint about Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, that contributed to his removal from his legislative committees has been forwarded to the Legislature’s Management Council, Senate leaders told Bouchard.
Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, sent Bouchard a letter late Monday informing the Cheyenne senator that the Management Council would determine if a formal investigation against Bouchard stemming from the complaint filed by the Wyoming Hospital Association should be launched.
“The Subcommittee must determine if the factual situation is sufficient to warrant a reasonably prudent person to believe that you committed misconduct,” the letter said.
Bouchard, Dockstader, and Senate Vice President Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Tuesday.
Bouchard has until March 25 to respond to the complaint.
Bouchard told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that there are hours of recorded committee meetings that prove WHA president Eric Boley’s claims against him are false.
“Let me be clear, in the event of another pandemic, the hospitals and their lobbyist Eric Boley are dead against grandma having rights to visitation,” Bouchard told Cowboy State Daily. “Their testimony shows it. A high-paid lobbyist like Eric Boley has everything to gain by removing an elected official like me from committees.”
On social media, Bouchard called the situation a “kangaroo court.”
“Senate President Dockstader wants to see if there was probable cause? You just can’t make this stuff up!” Bouchard wrote. “Taking action and stripping me of all committees, before even determining probable cause for an investigation under Rule 22 is like putting the Cart before the Horse.”
Last week, Boley filed a complaint against Bouchard, calling him “combative” and “disrespectful.”
“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 pointed to one such incident that allegedly occurred last week, when he was approached by Bouchard and Sen. Tom James, R-Green River, 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.”
Both Bouchard and James, speaking during the proceedings that saw Bouchard removed from his committees, denied threatening tactics were used in the incident involving Boley.
Bouchard was stripped of his committee assignments one day after Boley’s complaint was filed.
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.