From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 18 - July 24, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

McMahon Fills Vacant County Attorney Seat

by Tiffany Turner

Lucketta “Lucky” McMahon, sworn in last Thursday, has claimed her position as Sublette County’s new county attorney.

Previous County Attorney Ralph Boynton reached an agreement July 1 with Sublette County, accepting an early retirement with his remaining year’s salary and Sublette County’s lingering retirement benefits included, vacated his position shortly after. Boynton and the county agreed to hold each other harmless for existing litigation and problems that could arise in the future about the agreement.

After Boynton’s resignation on July 3, Meredith Peterson was appointed interim county attorney and the Sublette County Republican Central Nominating Committee began the process of selecting three candidates for county commissioners from which to interview and make a selection. These final candidates were deputy attorneys Michael Crosson and Lucketta McMahon and former deputy attorney Marilyn Filkins, now in private practice.

These individuals were given the chance to openly address their qualifications before the private interview process began.

McMahon, in Pinedale for 15 months, said her experience in Sublette County was working on felony and juvenile cases and she joined the Republican Party shortly after moving to Pinedale.

Crosson, raised in Sweetwater County, has been a member of the GOP for four years and worked in the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office.

A 30-year member of the GOP, Filkins worked as a prosecutor in both Sublette and Sweetwater counties. Filkins has prosecuted, worked in civil and juvenile cases and served as a drug court attorney with special training.

After the interview process and a secret ballot by the three county commissioners, McMahon was chosen as the new county attorney and sworn in immediately.

Problems are now arising since that decision, however, as Crosson and another employee were fired the next day after McMahon’s swearing in. Crosson and others are also voicing concerns as to the legality of the selection proceedings, with one major point being a meeting of three deputy county attorneys with County Commissioners Bill Cramer and Joel Bousman the morning of the vote.

Cramer, the commission chair, adamantly disputes anything illegal took place, stating the three requested time with him and Bousman to have their opinions heard. He and Bousman allowed the meeting but did not speak, he said.

“Whether or not action was taken is where the legality issue resides,” Crosson said of that meeting and the commissioners’ resulting vote. “That I will probably never be able to prove either way.”

According to Cramer, he and Bousman were reviewing their comments for the recent Pinedale Anticline FSEIS when the three deputy attorneys requested a chance to voice their opinions in favor of one specific nominee, although Cramer stresses that neither he nor Bousman requested their judgments on the topic.

According to Crosson, the three deputies, Allegra Davis, Peterson and Jonathon Foreman – each of whom applied for the vacancy but didn’t make the short list – spoke to the two commissioners about a specific candidate before the vote and in his opinion, it affected the outcome of the secret ballot to follow later that day.

“This is no different than what I have done with other people that have voiced their opinions to me,” Cramer said. “There have been, I’d say about a dozen ... and Joe and I did not discuss it at that meeting or afterwards.”

Crosson also claimed during the interview process he was asked if he would create problems for the county should he not be the choice. “This I absolutely dispute,” Cramer said. “I asked him, and all three candidates the same question, ‘Will you be devastated if you are not chosen?’”

Crosson is not the only one curious as to whether the letter of the law was followed in the selection process or if the correct decision was made, although most are choosing not to comment until the situation is clarified and an actual sequence of events are determined.

"I don't have any comment until I investigate it further,” said Filkins.

Crosson, in addition to issues with the proceedings and its outcome, also finds error in the fact he was not given the chance to refute any “accusations or disparaging remarks” made about him.

Cramer said there were none made and he would have given Crosson the chance had they been made.

“He felt that it (the final selection) was predetermined, and I said ‘Mike that is your opinion, but I disagree,’” Cramer said. “I feel that Lucky was the best candidate for that position of the three names from the Republican Central Nominating Committee.”

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