By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
House Speaker Eric Barlow asked the Wyoming Highway Patrol officers providing security at the state Capitol to investigate reports of a death threat made by one legislator against another, he said.
Barlow said Wednesday that he’d asked the Capitol security to get involved in the threat allegedly made last week by State Rep. John Romero-Martinez, R-Cheyenne, against Rep. Andi LeBeau, D-Ethete.
“As Speaker, I take seriously my duty to promote civil, respectful, and non-threatening discourse,” he said. “I will utilize every resource at my disposal to protect the health and safety of all those who conduct business with the Wyoming House of Representatives.”
LeBeau said she was contacted Friday afternoon, the final day of the legislative budget session, by former Rep. Sara Burlingame regarding the alleged threat.
Burlingame told LeBeau that, according to a lobbyist whose name neither woman would disclose publicly, Romero-Martinez had told the lobbyist during a March 10 telephone conversation he wanted to kill Burlingame and LeBeau.
Romero-Martinez did not respond to a Monday call and text requesting comment.
Barlow issued a public statement Wednesday noting that he was made aware of the alleged threat on March 10, the day it was said to have occurred.
“Along with other members of the House of Representatives leadership,” wrote Barlow, “I spoke with individuals involved in this incident to better understand the nature and context of this situation.”
Barlow wrote that he also asked Wyoming Highway Patrol agents to interview “the persons involved.”
He said he could not release further details, since the incident is under investigation.
Wyoming Highway Patrol officials said because the incident took place away from the Capitol and at a time the Legislature was not in session, they did not believe any criminal activity had taken place involving the Capitol. They also noted no ongoing “criminal issue” at the Capitol.
Burlingame told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that she filed a report with the Cheyenne Police Department. The department confirmed a report had been filed, but details have not yet been made available to Cowboy State Daily.
Romero-Martinez defeated Burlingame in her 2020 re-election bid to represent House District 44.
Burlingame said Romero-Martinez lives near her and added their past dealings have been cordial.
LeBeau told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday she was frustrated that Barlow and other House leaders did not inform her of the threat Friday morning. She said she learned of it Friday afternoon, by calling Burlingame.