- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - Sweetwater County commissioners are waiting for a judge to decide whether a recently elected commissioner also may serve as a member of the local school board, though an attorney questions how the commission went about seeking the review.

Voters on Nov. 4 elected Randal “Doc” Wendling to both the county commission and school board. Some say Wendling can’t serve as a member of both governing bodies under Wyoming law.

Wendling was sworn in as a school board member Nov. 10. He is scheduled to be sworn in as a county commissioner Jan. 5.

Commissioners hope a judge will weigh in on the situation by then, Commissioner Reid West told the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner (http://bit.ly/1roN8UR).

“If we asked for an attorney general’s opinion, we don’t know how long it would take and it is still an opinion, so perhaps it would be more definitive for a district court judge to rule on it,” West said. “That can be appealed to the Supreme Court, but it carries quite a bit of weight.”

The commission decided in a closed meeting Nov. 18 to seek a declaratory judgment on whether Wendling may serve in both positions. No vote occurred in the executive session, according to West.

Regardless, any decision had to be made in an open meeting, said Cheyenne attorney Bruce Moats, who specializes in Wyoming’s open meetings and public records laws.

West said he didn’t think the commission had to vote on the decision to proceed.

“Nothing personal against Randy, we just want to make sure the commission is properly seated so any action we take is not contested,” West said.

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Information from: Rock Springs (Wyo.) Rocket-Miner, http://www.rocketminer.com

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