By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove’s defense to the allegations against her is flawed and she should be allowed to file a new version, according to her attorney.
However, the attorney for the Wyoming State Bar who headed the investigation into allegations of incompetence on Manlove’s part is asking the Wyoming Supreme Court to deny the request of D. Stephen Melchior.
Wyoming’s Supreme Court is to determine whether it will accept the recommendation of the state Board of Professional Responsibility, the group responsible for overseeing the behavior of attorneys, to bar Manlove from the practice of law.
The recommendation stems from an investigation conducted by Weston W. Reeves into allegations Manlove has failed to competently carry out the duties of her office. The recommendation was the result of a lengthy disciplinary hearing in February.
Manlove was given until May 2 to file her point-by-point rebuttal to the conclusions and recommendations reached by the BPR, but a computer glitch delayed delivery of the document until the early morning hours of May 3, Melchior said in court documents.
Melchior the delay was the result of a computer glitch and asked the court to accept Manlove’s defense even though it was submitted late.
“(Melchior’s) computer word processing software experienced an unforeseen and never before experienced glitch … causing a formatting issue to (the defense) as it as being finalized in preparation for filing,” his motion said. “(Melchior) comes before this court once again humbled and embarrassed to have to ask the court for leave to accept a late filing …”
Reeves agreed to the delay on behalf of the BPR and it was approved by the court.
But in a separate request filed Wednesday, Melchior said the glitch also resulted in him sending the court an early draft of Manlove’s defense and he asked for permission to submit a corrected document.
The document is missing several crucial pieces, Melchior said, such as some legal citations, and contains mistakes such as typographical errors and duplicate paragraphs.
“(Melchior) is beside himself, and, quite frankly, embarrassed, over such misfilings for several reasons, not the least of which is fear that his error may reflect poorly on (Manlove) when it was not her fault,” the request said.
But Reeves objected, saying since he has no idea what Manlove may submit, it should not be admitted by the court.
“The present motion says that the … filing was an earlier draft of what she intended to file,” Reeves’ response said. “We have not been shown what she intended to file, or any evidence when it was completed.”
Reeves did agree that the initial response was lacking some necessary elements.