Judge hears argument that the Sublette County Clerk might have taken over Sheriff's duties

According to a news release this afternoon from the Sublette County Sheriff's Office, a District Court Judge has yet to decide if the county's clerk overstepped her bounds in making decisions related to the sheriff's office. "Arguments were heard by Judge Jeffrey A. Donnell at the District Court in Laramie this afternoon concerning the Motion of Summary Judgement filed by Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford, in response to the August filing of the petition for a Writ of Mandamus by Sheriff Stephen R. Haskell," the release said. A Writ of Mandamus is is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion, according to "The hearing, which was televised for the public in the District Court in Pinedale, was the first step in what Sheriff Haskell hoped would be judicial assistance in separating the powers held by each elected official in Sublette County," the statement continued. "The Writ of Mandamus alleged that the county clerk has been unilaterally making personnel and budgetary decisions concerning the Sheriff’s Office, as well as withholding a number of grant files that were removed from the office by the previous administration. Attorneys for Lankford argued that the clerk had been within her statutory limitations when she made these decisions and changes. James Whiting, the private attorney representing Sheriff Haskell, made arguments that it wasn’t a question of whether the clerk had been performing her statutory duties, but that she had been overstepping those duties and attempting, by her actions, to administer the Sheriff’s Office. No decision was made at the close of the hearing." The hearing comes a week after Haskell was charged for allegedly misspending county funds. #buckrail #news