The normally crowded Senate chamber was sparsely populated as the Senate began its special session deliberation on May 15, 2020. Wyoming lawmakers are conducting a hybrid 2021 session, with the bulk of the action starting March 1. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

Lawmakers and state executives recently filed their financial disclosure statements with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office, a precursor to the 2021 legislative session.

The disclosures reveal financial interests, including contracts held with the state, from Wyoming legislators and the five elected members of the executive branch: the governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state auditor and state superintendent of public instruction.

Current legislators, as well as those who have “not sought reelection or were unsuccessful while seeking re-election but have served in an elected position during the previous filing period” are required to file forms, according to Wyoming Statute 9-13-101, “State Elected Officials Financial Disclosure.” 

Forms were due to the Secretary of State on Jan. 31, but as of publication, 11 individuals — some current and some former legislators — had not filed, according to the office. 

They include current Sens. Larry Hicks (R-Baggs), Mike Gierau (D-Jackson), Bo Biteman (R-Ranchester) whose form was turned in without a signature, as well as retired Sen. Eli Bebout (R-Riverton), and retired Sen. Hank Coe (R-Cody), who died in January. From the other chamber, forms were missing from Rep. Hans Hunt (R-Newcastle), and former Reps. Tyler Lindholm (R-Sundance), Sara Burlingame (D-Laramie), Bill Haley (R-Centennial), David Miller (R-Riverton) and Carl “Bunky” Loucks (R-Casper).

Disclosures include information as of Jan. 15, 2021 and seek to protect the public from conflicts of interest. Those found to be in violation of the Government Ethics Act, a misdemeanor, may face a fine up to $1,000 and removal from office.

Filings must list business entities in which officials hold a 10% or greater interest and that have contracts with the state for services and supplies valued at more than $5,000. The listing must include the length and nature of the contract, according to the law, but doesn’t require a dollar amount.

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Wyoming forms also require officials to list the offices and directorships they held in business enterprises, as well as if they were salaried employees. They must list sources of income. They also must divulge whether they have security or interest-earning investments and/or investment income from real estate, leases or royalties.

The forms do not ask how much an elected official earns from any of the above or the name, nature or other details of any income-producing investments.

The Wyoming Constitution relies on members of the House and Senate to self-report conflicts and states that any lawmaker “who has a personal or private interest in any measure proposed or pending before the Legislature shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.”

Elected officials in the executive branch also file a code of ethics form, which requires disclosure of items or services received that value over $250. Only Gov. Mark Gordon claimed any items, noting two pieces of artwork from Reema Bandar Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, and two custom cowboy hats. The two art pieces, whose value is noted as “unknown,” will be retained by the state, according to the form. The governor and first lady will keep the custom 40x silver belly cowboy hats, valued at $1,040. 

The documents are listed below.

2021 statewide elected official disclosures

2021 Wyoming Senate disclosures.

2021 Wyoming House of Representative disclosures.

Some of the documents originally published in this story through DocumentCloud did not render properly. WyoFile is working to correct the issue. -ED. 

 

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  1. Chuck Gray (HD57) is a vocal activist for a number of issues.

    Curious that his financial disclosure form is blank other than the signature page.

    Compliance with the foundational principle of adherence to the “Rule of Law” appears to be lacking.

  2. Why are so many of these forms blank? I looked at several house and senate members’ reports. Only Drew Perkins filled it out; some didn’t have signatures.