Green River Star -

Commissioners seek judgement

 

Courtesy of Sweetwater County School District No. 1

Randal Wendling

When Rock Springs resident Randal "Doc" Wendling won two seats during the General Election, there was a lot of speculation going on about whether or not he could retain both seats.

On Nov. 4, Wendling was elected to the Board of Commissioners of Sweetwater County and the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees.

On Nov. 24, the Board of Commissioners of Sweetwater County filed a complaint in the Third District Court for declaratory judgement against Randal Wendling.

The commission is asking the court to find that Wendling "cannot hold an elective office in any governmental entity which either provides funding for or receives any funding from another governmental entity in which the defendant holds elected public office."

According to the complaint, after the election, Wendling has publicly stated that he intends to assume the responsibilities of both elected positions simultaneously.

The Sweetwater County Commission provides funds for and receives funding from School District No. 1.

In an interview Tuesday, Commission Chair Wally Johnson said there is nothing personal against Wendling, the issue is that the Sweetwater County Commissioners need a declaratory judgement as to whether he can hold the two positions simultaneously.

The commissioners claim if Wendling is allowed to hold both seats, he will be breaking Wyoming Statute 22-2-116.

"No person may hold an elective public office in any governmental entity which either provides any funding for or receives any funding from another governmental entity in which that person holds elected public office. If a person also is elected to a public office while holding another public office such that this section is applicable, the person shall resign from the public office first held prior to assuming the new office," the statute states.

Wendling was already sworn into office of the School District No. 1 board on Nov. 10 and is scheduled to be sworn into office of the Sweetwater County Commission in January.

The complaint states if Wendling is sworn into both offices and sits on both and it is determined that his actions as county commissioner are subsequently declared to be void, the official action taken at the time of his vote may have to be vacated, which may cause a reversal of votes, causing confusion, delay, uncertainty, inconvenience, unnecessary costs and may adversely affect the rights of the commissioners and Sweetwater County residents.

"It's our opinion, being representatives of all the people of Sweetwater County, we need to know if he's properly seated or not. That's all we're after," Johnson said. "It has nothing to do with Mr. Wendling. I think he's an outstanding individual and if he ends up working as a commissioner with us, I assure you I will do what the public has elected me to do and that's to work with the other four commissioners. I'll do that and I'm sure my co-commissioners will do the same."

The commissioners are asking the court to order Wendling to resign from one of the two positions he was elected to.

The board is also asking for a speedy hearing in this case due to the fact that Wendling will be sworn in to both offices within a month.

Attempts were made to contact Wendling, however his phone number is unlisted and wasn't provided by the school district.

 

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