(Lander, WY) – The Fremont County Commissioners and Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun initiated an investigation into a library board member’s recent re-appointment after receiving emails, numerous allegations, and complaints from community members in August 2023.
On August 22, the Fremont County Commissioners released a statement on the re-appointment and complaints brought forward.
Complaints were made by several community members, including Lander resident Troy Jones during the public comment periods at the August Commissioner meetings.
Jones alleged collusion because of some emails which led to the acceptance of a late application because, he thinks, they wanted to exclude conservatives.
“This Commission has been deceived and manipulated by your own staff,” he went on to say. “You should have the opportunity to vote only on valid applicants. Therefore, Perry Cook’s application and appointment to the library board should be considered null and void. It appears that the only fair course of action moving forward would be for the Commission to select one of the other applicants who did not collude with government workers and who actually had their paperwork submitted by the deadline.”
Incumbent Sherry Shelley, along with new applicants Tina Clifford, Marta Mossburg, Cady Shoutis, and Joan Jones applied for the two positions on the library board before the May 31 deadline. Incumbent Perry Cook submitted her application after the posted deadline, according to Jones.
After interviewing all of the applicants, the Commissioners re-appointed Perry Cook and appointed new applicant Marta Mossburg to three-year terms by a weighted ballot at the June 27 Commissioner meeting.
No wrongdoing found
The Commissioners do not currently have a policy that precludes applicants from submitting an application after a posted deadline. However, that will soon change. They are now working toward their Board Appointment Procedures, which are slated to clarify everything.
On August 22, the Fremont County Commissioners released a statement on the re-appointment and complaints brought forward:
“The County Attorney reviewed the emails and considered the numerous allegations and complaints brought before this Board and found that nothing illegal occurred; therefore, no formal legal action will be taken by the County Attorney’s Office.”
The Commissioners also cleared Becky Enos from the allegations that she was involved in the collusion to keep the conservative applicants off the board.
“Mrs. Enos is the most honest and caring individual I (Larry Allen, Commissioner Chair) have ever met and Mrs. Enos’ experience and expertise is of the utmost professional quality. Mrs. Enos has been working for Fremont County for over 27 years and I challenge all of you to find anyone with more integrity, honesty and high moral standards. The collusion allegations are nonsense. Mrs. Enos did not collude and there is absolutely no evidence of collusion. Mrs. Enos was simply doing her job by requesting that Ms. Cook confirm whether she was going to reapply for a position as (a) board member and then scheduling Ms. Cook’s interview.”
The Commissioners have asked the Fremont County Library Board to convene as soon as possible to address several issues that have been brought in front of the Fremont County Commissioners since June 2023, and to report back to them as soon as possible.
County 10 will share any updates following the library board’s report to the Commissioners.