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Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove speaks during a community child abuse prevention and awareness event Thursday, April 15, 2021, inside the Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Following a call by the Wyoming State Bar for a disciplinary hearing addressing what it called her “incompetence and lack of professionalism,” Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove issued a brief public response late Thursday afternoon.

“Now that this matter is public and I am permitted to speak about it, I welcome the opportunity to ensure that the people of Laramie County who elected me get to hear all of the facts,” Manlove said in a news release.

The 23-page charging document was filed with the bar’s Board of Professional Responsibility on Friday, June 11, by Special Bar Counsel W.W. Reeves. Reeves wrote that the state bar’s Review and Oversight Committee found probable cause to bring the charge against Manlove because of multiple professional conduct violations since her tenure began in January 2019.

The charge stems from three separate disciplinary investigations: an “unprecedented” letter signed by the all Laramie County District Court and Circuit Court judges, and two complaints from mothers of victims, who said Manlove mishandled their daughters’ cases.

The district attorney said she planned to file a formal response to the charge, “so that the public has the benefit of hearing both sides of the story.”

Manlove has 20 days from the charge’s filing to submit her response.

“Politics is a contact sport, and I knew that coming into office, but my number one priority is fulfilling my obligation as a public servant,” she said in the release. “I have a job to do, and I will not lose sight of that. This process will unfold as it must, according to the Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, and I am confident I will be exonerated.”

Brandi Robinson, clerk for the Board of Professional Responsibility, said the disciplinary hearing did not have to be conducted within a specific timeframe, but that the board would try to schedule the hearing within the next few weeks, depending on the availability of the involved parties. This includes three panel members who will be selected from the board.

Manlove, a Republican, was elected to the office of district attorney in November 2018, after defeating Democrat Lynn Boak. She took the place of former District Attorney Jeremiah Sandberg, who was elected in 2014.

According to previous reporting, Manlove began working with the state bar in 2000, when she was first licensed to practice law in Wyoming. She then served as a prosecutor in the Laramie County DA’s office from 2010 to late 2015.

After leaving the DA’s office, she ran Leigh Anne Manlove Law Office, primarily taking on criminal defense cases.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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