Hill challenges probe fairness

Aug 8, 2013 From the Associated Press

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A special House committee is seeking $110,000 to conduct its investigation into state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill's management of the Wyoming Education Department.

In addition, the Select Investigative Committee decided during a seven-hour meeting Wednesday to ask Gov. Matt Mead whether he can find a way to provide legal counsel to represent Hill during the process.

Depending on its findings, the panel could recommend that the full House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against Hill, who says the state should provide her with an attorney to help in her defense.

The committee has not set a deadline for when it will issue its findings. Its request for funding must be approved by the Legislature's Management Council, which oversees legislative matters when lawmakers are not in session.

The Management Council gave House Speaker Tom Lubnau permission to investigate Hill after a recent inquiry reported a number of issues with how Hill managed the agency over the past two years, including possible misuse of federal funds. Hill has been stripped of her authority over the agency by a new law enacted last winter.

Hill has denied any wrongdoing and is challenging the constitutionality of the law.

The select committee spent most of Wednesday's meeting handling organizational issues, such as approving rules and procedures. It decided to form four subcommittees to look into specific allegations. The subcommittees would then report back to the full 16-member committee.

Lubnau, R-Gillette, was elected chairman of the investigation committee. Addressing the committee, he said it will be subject to much scrutiny no matter what is does.

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