(Lander, WY) – It was reported earlier that the Fremont County Commissioners announced a special meeting taking place Friday, July 16th, to make a Coroner selection after they requested more qualified candidates from the Republican committee in charge of replacing the recently vacated position.
At the July 13th, Commissioners’ meeting, 3 individuals, Larry Degraw, Karl Falken, and Joseph Lucero, were interviewed for the position. These individuals were chosen by the Republican committee, which it was required by law to do when a member of their party leaves the Coroner role, in this case, Republican Mark Stratmoen.
After hearing the interviews and testimonies from both the presumed frontrunner for the job, Chief Deputy Coroner/Interim Coroner Erin Ivie (R), and her many supporters, the Commission decided to officially request more qualified candidates.
The Republican committee in charge of this decision, has officially chosen to keep the candidate list as it stands.
According to an email sent from Fremont County Republican Chairwoman Ginger Bennett:
“Wyoming State Statute 22-18-111(a)(ii), addressing vacancies in other offices, states that within fifteen days of receiving notification of a vacancy, the chairman of the county central committee of the party of the incumbent shall hold a meeting and the Central Committee shall select and transmit to the board of county commissioners the names of three (3) persons qualified to hold the office. Within five (5) days after receiving these three (3) names, the board of county commissioners shall fill the vacancy by appointment of one (1) of the three (3) to hold the office.”
“The Fremont County Republican Party Central Committee, a body made up of elected precinct men and precinct women, met July 12, 2021, and completed that task in a timely manner according to state law. The results were conveyed to the county commissioners via text and email on July 12 and via facsimile on July 13, 2021.”
“The list of candidates provided stays. We have no choice,” stated Commissioner Chairman Travis Becker.
“By law, the Commission has to go with the three names provided,” reiterated Commission Administrative Secretary Becky Enos.
Chief Deputy Ivie issued the following letter in response to the decisions made:
To the Citizens of Fremont County,
“I feel it necessary to reach out to this community to say how grateful and humbled I am for all the phone calls, social media posts, texts, and emails I have received in the past few days. I am truly honoured to serve this great community and have always tried to conduct myself, both personally and professionally, with the highest level of honesty, dignity, and respect possible. I have served my community to the best of my knowledge and abilities and with the kindness and compassion that you, the people of Fremont County, deserve. Your statements and shared personal stories are affirmation that I am doing something right in that regard. There is an obvious political agenda going on here, one that I am not privy to, and one that I do not understand. It was my belief that the Republican Committee would interview and put forth the best qualified Republican candidates for the benefit of the citizens of Fremont County. This is obviously not the case. Please know, to all of those who offered love and support, that I will continue to fight for this appointment and, if not given a fair chance, will bring this decision to the voters at the next election. Thank you again for all your kind words and support. They mean so much during this uncertain time.”
Respectfully Erin Ivie
Once the video is uploaded, the July 13th meeting and interviews will be available to view on the Fremont County, WY Government YouTube channel.
County 10 will provide more updates on the situation as they become available, which can be found here.