Wyoming’s Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against the disbarment of Laramie County’s district attorney in August, the court has announced.
The court announced Monday that oral arguments in the disciplinary case of Leigh Anne Manlove will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.
The state Board of Professional Responsibility, the group that oversees the behavior of Wyoming attorneys, is recommending that Manlove lose her license to practice law, saying she failed to competently fulfill the duties of her office.
The Wyoming Supreme Court has the ultimate decision over whether the recommendation will be followed.
The BPR issued its recommendation on Manlove’s license following a multi-day hearing held in Cheyenne in February, when the Wyoming State Bar’s special counsel presented its findings from a long-term investigation into Manlove’s activities while in office.
Manlove was elected Laramie County’s district attorney in 2018 and the day after she took over the office in 2019, she fired most of her staff. The action left the office unable to conduct its duties, the report said.
Manlove was also accused of exaggerating budget pressures faced by her office to justify the dismissal of hundreds of cases in circuit and district court. She was also accused of misrepresenting the facts surrounding the case of a man accused of killing two people five days after being released from police custody because of a procedural error.
“Considering the broad range of Ms. Manlove’s misconduct and its impact upon the administration of criminal justice in Laramie County, the hearing panel finds that the presumptive discipline … is disbarment,” said the BPR’s report.
Both parties have filed briefs in support of their positions with the Supreme Court.
In her brief, Manlove argued that the BPR failed to pay enough attention to the witnesses testifying in her favor during the February hearing. She also argued that disbarment is too extreme a punishment for the allegations she faces.
The hearing before the Supreme Court will be open to the public and will be livestreamed.
Manlove is not running for re-election.