Hill blasts House Speaker as panel prepares bigger investigation of superintendent

Jul 10, 2013 Staff and wire reports

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is criticizing House Speaker Tom Lubnau's request for a legislative investigation into how she ran the Department of Education.

She says she will be present when the Legislature's Management Council considers the request Friday.

Hill told Lubnau in a letter Tuesday that the investigation that led to the report is complete and that she has been vindicated.

She says she's "befuddled" about what additional information would be the objective of the legislative committee and says there has been a continuing effort to destroy her.

"The flimsy substance of the report serves only to confirm that I have not committed any crime, violated any rule or regulation, or disregarded an duty imposed upon my office," she wrote.

"Your persistence with this process serves only to confirm that the legislature believes it has limitless power to spend the wealth of the Wyoming taxpayers on this continuing sham. I am befuddled about what additional information or conclusion will be the objective of a committee to be appointed."

Lubnau's came after Gov. Matt Mead's office released a report noting questions about federal funds being used for plane travel when Hill ran the education department. Hill's authority over the department was stripped by a new state law enacted this past winter.

Hill has criticized Lubnau for assembling a committee made up entirely of Hill's critics who voted for the controversial legislation.

"I reject your effort to distinguish your destruction of the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction from the continuing effort to destroy me personally, especially when during my tenure in the position statewide average scores in math improved 9 percent and in reading improved 12 percent," Hill wrote. "In fact, scores increased in every subject matter and grade level tested. This had not occurred in decades.

"Clearly educational systems are succeeding in spite of overreaching legislative mandates and mounting federal control. A dysfunctional system dld not give rise to SF 104, and the people of Wyoming understand your premise is baseless and false."

Lubnau has said impeachment proceedings could follow the committee recommendation. He said he believes the committee that convenes Friday will be fair to Hill.

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