Complaint Seeks Probe of Wyoming Lawmaker

A Wyoming woman has asked the Speaker of the State's House of Representatives and other officials to investigate Representative Sue Wallis on grounds that the lawmaker violated ethics laws when she sponsored legislation to allow horse processing plant development in that state.

Wallis was the primary sponsor of HB 122, a measure allowing Wyoming livestock authorities to process abandoned horses and to sell their meat. The measure also allows the state Livestock Board to enter into agreements with licensed meat processing plants to process the meat from livestock disposed of by slaughter, and to sell the meat to state institutions, nonprofit organizations and private entities at cost. The bill became law in March.

Wallace also sponsored HJR8, a resolution instructing Wyoming's congressional delegation to vote against HR503/SB727, the Conyers Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act. The act would ban the transport of U.S. horses to processing plants in Mexico and Canada. That bill remains pending.

In a complaint submitted earlier this month to Wyoming House Speaker Rep. Colin Simpson, Majority Floor Leader Rep. Edward Buchanan, and Minority Floor Leader W. Patrick Goggles, Patricia M. Fazio alleges that Wallace violated state conflict of interest and disclosure laws because she is improperly using her position as a state lawmaker to promote and misrepresent horse processing development from which she might personally benefit. The complaint also calls on Attorney General Bruce A. Salzburg to investigate the allegations. Wallis said the allegations are baseless.

"This is an obvious and blatant attack by those who disagree with our approach to the problems in the equine industry," Wallis said.

Representatives Simpson and Goggles were unavailable for comment.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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