peggy conference

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent speaks before news cameras on Jan. 15, 2019, about the results of a grand jury investigation into the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Robbie Ramirez by Sheriff’s deputy Derek Colling.

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent announced Tuesday that she is resigning her position, effective immediately, with 18 months left in her term.

Trent submitted her letter of resignation to the Albany County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning. Trent, a Democrat, was first elected in 2014 and re-elected four years later. Her current term runs through the end of 2022.

In comments to the commissioners Tuesday, Trent said she has taken another job out of state. She noted she’s the second woman to serve in the position in Albany County and outlined numerous accomplishments.

Among them, she led reforms of the county’s criminal justice system by forming a community juvenile service board, creating a single point of entry for juvenile criminal matters and expanding the juvenile diversion program.

“I have been fortunate to work with some of the highest achievers in our community, who share the same vision for our county to help our vulnerable populations,” Trent said.

She also formed a special victims unit dedicated to prosecuting sexual assault, domestic violence, strangulation and stalking.

“I’m leaving behind a team of highly trained trial lawyers in the Albany County Attorney’s Office, and I established a victim-centered approach to criminal prosecution,” she said.

Trent grew emotional when recounting a partnership she established with the University of Wyoming to bring undergraduate and law students into the office.

“I’m proud to say some of these interns are now licensed, practicing attorneys in my office,” she said.

Chairman Pete Gosar thanked Trent for her work, specifically in her efforts to create a mental health board to address gaps in service.

“Often mental illness is charged as a crime, and your office reflected the idea that it isn’t,” Gosar said.

Her tenure has not been without controversy. Following the 2018 shooting of Laramie resident Robbie Ramirez by Derek Colling, a deputy in the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Trent convened a grand jury that decided there wasn’t probable cause to charge Colling with any crime.

Ramirez’s mother, Debbie Hinkel, has filed a wrongful death suit against the county seeking $20 million in damages. In February, Hinkel’s lawyers asked a judge to make the grand jury records public, arguing that the proceedings were conducted with the intention of protecting the county from liability.

In preparation for her resignation, Trent drafted a letter for the Board of Commissioners to give to the Albany County Democrats notifying them of the vacancy. Once notified, the county party has 15 days to submit the names of three people to fill the position. The Board of Commissioners will then choose Trent’s replacement from that pool of three candidates. The same process took place last fall to replace former Sheriff Dave O’Malley.

Upon her election in 2014, Trent replaced former County Attorney Richard Bohling, who left office while under investigation by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation for using public money to pay for cameras and computer equipment. Bohling was charged with nine counts of larceny, wrongful taking of property and official misconduct.

A jury later found Bohling guilty of four felonies, and he was sentenced to two to four years in prison, but the conviction was then overturned by the Wyoming Supreme Court. A misdemeanor conviction for official misconduct was allowed to stand.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus