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Wyoming Supreme Court spends an hour on superintendent suit

Aug 20, 2013 - The Associated Press

Cindy Hill's lawsuit challenges a new law stripping the superintendent's office of many of its powers and duties.

CHEYENNE -- It is now up to the Wyoming Supreme Court to resolve a dispute between the Legislature and schools Superintendent Cindy Hill over statewide management of Wyoming's public school system.

The court heard an hour of arguments Tuesday in Hill's lawsuit challenging a new law stripping the superintendent's office of many of its powers and duties.

The change occurred in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remains one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversees the Wyoming Department of Education.

Hill argues the law usurps the state constitution by transferring too many powers and duties to an unelected agency director appointed by the governor.

The state contends the Wyoming Constitution empowers the Legislature to manage the state's education system, including the superintendent's administrative role.

The court session comes at the same time a committee of the Wyoming Legislature is conducting a new investigation of Hill, with a recommendation for impeachment one of the possible outcomes of that probe.

Hill was elected in 2010, defeating incumbent Jim McBride in the primary election and trouncing Democrat Mike Massie in the general election.

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