Fight Cancel Culture in Laramie County

The case against Ms. Manlove which is before the Board of Professional Responsibility is unprecedented in the State of Wyoming. Never before in the State of Wyoming has there been an effort by the Office of Bar Counsel and judges to attempt to remove a duly elected prosecuting attorney from office because they disagree with her public policy decisions, the way she manages her office, the manner in which she handled mandatory COVID-19 budget cuts, and the manner in which she exercised her prosecutorial discretion in her capacity as the Laramie County District Attorney. This is not a case where it is being alleged that Ms. Manlove broke the law, acted criminally, or is guilty of “misconduct” or “malfeasance in office” pursuant to W.S. §18-3-902. Rather, as stated by the Laramie County judges in their December 21, 2020, letter to Bar Counsel: “In short, we are concerned that Manlove’s personnel management and caseload management cause prejudice to the administration of justice in Laramie County.”

As such, these claims have been brought against Ms. Manlove as an ethics complaint. Despite the fact that they are all claims that fall entirely under the scope of her employment, the Wyoming Attorney General has been unable to fund her defense, even though Manlove is a State employee and even though the AG represents State employees in lawsuits because the case was brought by Wyoming State Bar Counsel alleging ethical violations under the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law. As a public attorney, a prosecutor, Ms. Manlove cannot get malpractice insurance because the AG is supposed to defend her in lawsuits brought against State employees. This inability to fund Ms. Manlove’s legal defense by the AG is also unprecedented. Ms. Manlove and her family have suffered significant financial harm because of this case, having to bear the costs of her defense from her own statutorily established salary for District Attorneys.

Not only does each and every allegation set forth in the 1st and 2nd Formal Charges filed against Ms. Manlove fail on their face to reasonably reflect proof by clear and convincing evidence that she violated the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law, but there is also a fundamental question as to whether the Office of Bar Counsel is appropriately using those Rules in its campaign to remove Ms. Manlove from the elected office she holds as Laramie County District Attorney – an office she ran for and won by claiming 67.1% of the votes of the citizens of Laramie County. Why should 7 judges and 1 Bar Counsel have more power in an election outcome than over 2/3 of the voters in Laramie County?

In this case, the Board of Professional Responsibility will have the task of assessing whether it was appropriate for the Office of Bar Counsel to use the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law to prosecute Ms. Manlove based on the complaint from the Laramie County District and Circuit Court judges, a few mothers of adult victims of domestic abuse, and a mother of an alleged victim of sexual abuse, over what are essentially office management matters involving the inner workings of the District Attorney’s office which are within the District Attorney’s managerial and prosecutorial discretion, and to give serious and due consideration to principles of separation of powers set forth in Wyo. Const. Art. 2., §1, and to the constitutional principles of prosecutorial discretion set forth in the Wyoming case of In re Padget, 678 P.2d 870 (Wyo. 1984).

Also at issue – whether the Office of Bar Counsel has or should have jurisdiction to prosecute Ms. Manlove regarding discretionary matters inherent within such elected office of Laramie County District Attorney, including matters of prosecutorial discretion, case disposition, office management, and personnel management, and whether the Board of Professional Responsibility should decline to give Office of Bar Counsel the forum in which to so act.

The Board, in this case, will also be considering whether Ms. Manlove’s case dispositions, charging decisions, and case dismissal decisions lie solely within her statutory duties and powers as the elected prosecutor in Laramie County, and whether her actions are permissible under, but not limited to, W.S. § 9-1-804, In re Padget, 678 P.2d 870 (Wyo. 1984), Art. 2, § 1, of the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, and Art. 4, § 4, of the Wyoming Constitution.

This is a case that should have never been. Please help Ms. Manlove, our duly elected Laramie County District Attorney, and her family, continue to fight this overreach by unelected officials who have clearly crossed a very important line and who appear to disagree with her conservative politics. Please donate to her legal defense fund. --
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Organizer and beneficiary

Carrisa Pollard 
Organizer
Cheyenne, WY
Leigh Anne Manlove 
Beneficiary