- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - State schools Superintendent Cindy Hill said a draft report by a legislative panel investigating her administration of the state Education Department is nothing more than an expensive political propaganda.

“In the end, this process has … produced what is, at best, an intentional and malicious slander, and at worst, the basest attempt at political assassination,” Hill said in a written response Wednesday. “Most troubling is that the committee allowed this process to languish until the height of a political campaign.”

Hill is a Republican who’s running for governor against Gov. Matt Mead and Taylor Haynes, a doctor and rancher from Cheyenne.

A special state House committee chaired by House Speaker Tom Lubnau has been investigating Hill. It released a scathing draft report earlier this month, concluding that she failed to follow legislative funding directives and demanded rank-and-file education department staff to demonstrate personal loyalty to her, among other things.

Hill was given until Wednesday to file a response to the report.

Messages seeking comment from Lubnau were not immediately returned.

A final report by the committee is expected within the next month.

The investigation was started about a year ago to determine whether Hill committed any impeachable offenses.

However, legislative leaders have said they don’t expect to see adequate support for impeachment for various reasons, including a lack of time given that Hill’s term expires at the end of this year and that she’s not seeking re-election to superintendent.

Hill, as she has done throughout the process, denied any wrongdoing in a response that gave short and general rebuttals to the accusations against her.

“Rest assured that had there been malfeasance, the legislative leadership would have moved to impeach or file criminal charges long ago,” she wrote.

Instead, she said, after multiple investigations, hearings, and audits, the committee is left “holding a bag full of innuendo, opinions, and a few hurt feelings.”

She argued that had the committee heard witnesses and reviewed evidence she considered important to the investigation, its report would have reached different conclusions.

The GOP-controlled Legislature and Mead have been at odds with Hill since she was elected in 2010.

The Legislature passed and Mead signed a measure last year that removed Hill as head of the state Education Department. She was reinstated after the Wyoming Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional in January.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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