Hearing Officer Recommends Dismissing Hedquist Conflict of Interest Case

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Casper, WY -- The hearing officer organizing the conflict of interest contested case hearing regarding Councilman Craig Hedquist is advising Casper City Council to dismiss the case.

In a report filed Wednesday, Sharon Rose says Council should grant Hedquist's motion to dismiss the case, essentially because Hedquist would need to be convicted in a court of law before being removed under the statute the city is quoting.

However, the document does appear to acknowledge there is a process by which Council can remove one of its own, but Rose says the statute through which the city is arguing the case wasn't sufficient.

Judy Studer, who represents City Council, hasn't had a chance to speak with all of Council yet, but says she found the recommendation interesting. Essentially, the dismissal would be because of a technicality.

One of Hedquist's attorneys, Michael Lansing, tells News 13 the team hopes Council will heed that recommendation so they can move forward now.

As for whether Hedquist would consider dropping his lawsuit against the City and City Manager John Patterson, John Robinson, who's representing Hedquist in the lawsuit, says it would be premature to comment on what would happen before Council determines whether it will follow the hearing officer's recommendation. If and when that occurs, he says they will evaluate the situation at that time.

Attorney Wes Reeves, who represents City Manager John Patterson, says he would still recommend that Council reject the petition to dismiss the case, maintaining Patterson has the proper authority to bring the contested case.