Financial disclosure forms enable the public to monitor for potential conflicts of interest. They’re required by Jan. 31 every year from the Wyoming Legislature’s 30 senators and 60 representatives and the state's five statewide elected officials. (Flickr Creative Commons)

Due to his ownership stake in the Inn at Lander, Sen. Cale Case (R-Lander) has disclosed his business sometimes supplies lodging, food and conference facilities to Wyoming agencies, boards, elected officials and other divisions of the state. 

Rep. Christopher Knapp (R-Gillette), meanwhile, has publicly claimed a $4,920 contract that his business, Vista Leasing Company, holds with the Northern Wyoming Community College District for office equipment rentals. 

These types of financial disclosures are submitted by the state’s senators, representatives and five statewide elected officials annually ahead of the Wyoming Legislature’s session in Cheyenne. 

According to the Office of Wyoming Secretary of State, all 90 senators and representatives have filed required financial disclosure forms. Among state executives, only one person hasn’t turned in documents: recently departed Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. 

Financial disclosure forms enable the public to monitor for potential conflicts of interest. They are required by a state statute specifying that legislators and the five elected state officials must list businesses in which they hold a 10% or greater interest and contracts with the state for services and supplies valued at more than $5,000.

Some legislators go above and beyond. Case, for example, did not possess a contract with the state, but listed the business interest outlined above anyway. And Knapp’s business contract with the Northern Wyoming Community College District did not surpass the $5,000 threshold, yet he still offered the information. 

Reporting requirements for elected officials in the executive branch differ. Those officials — the governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state auditor and state superintendent — file an additional code of ethics form disclosing items or services received in excess of $250.  

Financial statements and code of ethics forms provided to WyoFile through a public records request are available below. 

Wyoming House

Wyoming Senate

Executive branch

Mike Koshmrl

Mike Koshmrl reports from Jackson on state politics and Wyoming's natural resources. Prior to joining WyoFile, he spent nearly a decade covering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s wild places and creatures...

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  1. We are actually pretty fortunate to be represented by a citizen legislature and not the spit polished professional politicial elite that some states are saddled with. These people live their lives and make their livings and try to serve their constituents as best as they can. They definitely deserve our thanks as well as our scrutiny. When they fail to maintain public-personal balance though, it is our civic responsibility to help them regain it. That said, it is my opinion that Senator Driskill’s vote as a sitting member of the Select Water Committee to green light the Newcastle Madison Well Project while also belonging to the Horton Family Partnership (an entity that will gain substantial benefit from its completion) is an inexcusable conflict of interest. The following links are documents of public record that I believe illustrate the point. https://wyoleg.gov/InterimCommittee/2015/SWCMin0604.pdf
    http://library.wrds.uwyo.edu/wwdcrept/Newcastle/Newcastle-Madison_Well_Level_II_Project-Final_Report-2017.html
    (This is a rather lengthy read……. please reference Alternative #2 on page 55)
    Thumb on the scale? Fingers in the pie? I would like some answers. Thank you WYOFILE for providing this platform for civil discourse, transparency, and good governance.

  2. I don’t think these disclosures even look pretty on paper. I glanced at a few randomly and what I saw was appalling. Many of the documents did not have the cover page filled in. The only thing in many documents was a scrawled signature. These signatures did not have dates signed. I am not an attorney, but from my experience, I would say most of these documents are worthless and not really valid.

    I actually found a couple without signatures. Therefore, I would question whether or not they were legally submitted, as was stated by the Office of Wyoming Secretary of State.

    Abd for a bit of humor, one Senator claimed the following employer: Wyo state legis, with an address of cHEYENNE. This was in the section for Sources of Income. Are Wyoming legislators paid legally or just under the table?

    All in all, after glancing at a bunch of these disclosures, I wonder whether these people are capable of taking care of the State of Wyoming. It seems the Peter Principle is real. I.e., people in a hierarchy tend to rise to “a level of respective incompetence”.

  3. Disclosures look pretty on paper, but a few skilled wranglers are still managing to herd their cash cows
    on to greener pastures. Submitting photos of a document is a neat little trick in that it makes it somewhat more difficult to do a word search for content, but any chimpanze with access to wifi can still Google “Horton Family Partnership” and come up with: https://waterplan.state.wy.us/plan/newy/meetings/2017_NE_NewcastleWell.pdf
    Shepherding dubious legislation under the noses of hawks and hounds takes time and patience; a steady hand is often rewarded with a fistful of golden fleece. So while the merits of the “Driskill Amendment” are still being weighed and measured https://www.gillettewy.gov/home/showdocument?id=38453 I offer up another example of a fox in the henhouse. Or I should say a fox possibly involved in a potentially lucrative henhousing development……..