- Associated Press - Monday, June 29, 2020

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Police in Wyoming have cited a Republican Party county chairman after a fight with another county chairman at the state GOP convention.

The fight happened Saturday night outside the Cam-Plex Wyoming Center in Gillette, where the Wyoming Republican Party was holding part of its annual convention. A previous session in May took place by video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Albany County Chairman Michael Pearce got in an argument inside the convention with Carbon County Chairman Joey Correnti, Gillette Police Lt. Brent Wasson said in a statement Monday.

The argument escalated and the men walked out of the building. Pearce punched Correnti in the head, according to Wasson.

Acting in self-defense, Correnti “took Pearce to the ground” and held him until another person arrived, Wasson said.

“Witness statements confirm Pearce was responsible for the escalation and Correnti was defending himself,” Wasson said in the statement.

Correnti described Pearce as intoxicated and Pearce admitted to drinking, Wasson said.

Police cited Pearce for assault and battery.

Pearce was treated for injuries and Correnti reported damage to his glasses and hearing aid, Wasson said.

Pearce didn’t immediately respond to a message Monday seeking comment. Correnti referred questions to his attorney, Steven Titus, of Gillette, who said Correnti “did nothing wrong.”

“It was a personal attack, possibly politically motivated,” Titus said.

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