A special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill released a scathing report Tuesday concluding she failed to follow legislative funding directives and demanded rank-and-file education department staff to demonstrate personal loyalty to her.
Hill has 15 days to respond before the committee will issue its final report, probably before the end of the month.
It's possible the report could be fodder for a legislative impeachment effort. However, Senate President Tony Ross said Tuesday he doesn't expect to see adequate support for impeachment.
Hill, a Republican who's running for governor against incumbent Gov. Matt Mead and Taylor Haynes of Cheyenne, decried the findings as a political effort to discredit her. She said she believes the Legislature is using taxpayer money as part of a coordinated effort with Mead to smear her less than two months before the Republican primary election.
Hill characterized the report by the House of Representatives Select Investigative Committee as "the same old, same old." She said it was inappropriate of lawmakers to release the draft report before receiving her response.
The Legislature passed and Mead signed into law last year a law that removed Hill as head of the state Education Department. She was reinstated after the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional in January.
The report alleges that Hill demanded personal loyalty from staff workers at the Education Department. It states that she unilaterally reclassified employees so they could be fired at will and videotaped some of them at meetings to see if their personal attitudes toward her could be discerned from their body language.
Ross said he doesn't believe the Legislature will act to impeach Hill because it's so late in the year and close to the election. However, he said any individual member of the Wyoming House could push to consider impeachment.
Ross said he has tried to keep himself separate from the House investigation to remain unbiased. However, he said he finds the report's findings troubling.
"It confirms what many of us suspected was going on," Ross said.