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Laramie County District Attorney Charged With Professional Violations

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Laramie County Courthouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove has been charged with professional violations through the Wyoming State Bar Association's Board of Professional Responsibility.

The charges come from a combination of three separate disciplinary investigations, including one that was prompted when seven judges in Laramie County sent a letter concerned about Manlove's management of her staff and caseload as district attorney.

The charges allege Manlove exaggerated the effects state budget cuts would have on the office and used that as an excuse to dismiss cases. According to the charges, between October 2019 and February 2020, 75 cases were dismissed, and from October 2020 to February 2021, 132 cases were also dismissed.

They go further to argue, it wasn't state budget cuts that caused Manlove's office to dismiss a number of cases. Instead, they say a hostile work environment caused staffers to quit.

Manlove had also announced certain crimes would no longer be prosecuted as a result of the cuts. She had also suggested under district court rules that police officers could be used as prosecutors for non-priority offenses.

Manlove is also accused of mishandling several cases in her time as district attorney.

Overall, the charges allege that Manlove's actions aren’t representing her community well as an elected official.

Manlove was elected as Laramie County District attorney in 2018.

In a statement, Manlove said she is eager to defend herself against the charges and is confident she will be exonerated.

The case is under the Wyoming State Bar's Board of Professional Responsibility. It will be assigned to a six-person panel made up of lawyers and non-lawyers. Following that, the panel can dismiss it or can recommend public discipline actions that would be decided and carried out by the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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