Volume 4, Number 15 - July 8, 2004
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County to intervene in Exxon case
The Sublette County Commission held a short executive session via telephone Tuesday afternoon with attorney John McKinley of the Davis and Cannon law firm. After conferring with McKinley, the commission came back into open session with Commissioner Bill Cramer making a motion to authorize the law firm "to take any and all action necessary" to file the necessary documents to have Sublette County intervene in two dockets before the Wyoming Board of Equalization. One concerns ExxonMobil's 2003 production, while the other concerns ExxonMobil's appeal of the new methodology imposed by Department of Revenue Director Edmund Schmidt. The commission's vote was unanimous in support of intervening.
The commission met with Sublette County Attorney Van Graham to discuss a number of legal matters, including Graham's recent letter on behalf of the commission about the road through Dan Budd's property. The letter expressed the county's intent to apply a soil stabilization product to the surface of the road. The county has an easement for the road through the property, but the agreement with Budd prohibits improvements to the road without Budd's approval.
Graham said after he sent the letter to Budd, he received a call from Budd's attorney, Calvin Ragsdale, who told Graham that the county shouldn't do anything to the road until they hear from him. The commission expressed concern that Ragsdale was simply stalling. At the commission's request, Graham said he would contact Budd via letter once again, letting him know that if there is an objection to the road work, that the concern should be addressed to the commission at its meeting on July 20.
Graham then proceeded to update the commission on the appeal to the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals of the ruling in the Erramouspe Road RS-2477 lawsuit.
He said that the federal appeals court has scheduled a mediation conference for July 14 for the involved parties via telephone. Graham said the purpose of the conference is to allow the court to get the parties together to see if the case needs to go to trial.
Graham said when he met with commissioners Tuesday, he hadn't yet completed his review of the pleadings in the court case the county had lost at the federal court level.
Graham asked to be able to meet with the commission after he finishes his review of the case, but before the mediation conference to discuss the strategy.
Graham said there is a lot of interest in the case and the precedent set by the federal court in Wyoming, as well as the possible precedent that could be set on a wider scale by an appellant court.
The commission agreed to hold a special meeting Friday, July 9, at 3 p.m. to discuss the case with Graham. Both Graham and the commission said they have no problem conducting the session in a form open to the public.
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