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Wyoming Elected Officials Sued For Not Paying Office Rent

Doug Randall, Townsquare Media
Doug Randall, Townsquare Media

A limited liability company is suing the State of Wyoming for allegedly not paying rent for office spaces occupied by elected officials and their staff members while the state Capitol Building is being renovated.

The Voss Family Limited Partnership says the state owes $931,000 in back rent dating back to 2015 for office space leased to the Wyoming State Auditor, Wyoming Secretary of State and Wyoming State Treasurer in the Wyoming Financial Center at 2020 Carey in Cheyenne. The lawsuit also asks for the removal of the state officials from the offices. It asks for additional damages bringing the total amount to $1,496,043.87.

The Building is also known as the U.S. Bank Building.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in First Judicial District Court in Cheyenne, says the officials have occupied floors two through four and six through 9 since 2015, without paying rent as they allegedly agreed to do in a lease agreement that was signed on March 23, 2015. An eviction notice which was issued on July 5, 2017, was ignored, according to the lawsuit.

The state officials are also accused in the lawsuit of making alterations in the property without permission. The lawsuit says the state made only partial rent payments, withholding money that was used to bring the offices up to code requirements for the city of the City of Cheyenne and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the lawsuit, any such improvements needed the approval of the Voss family company, which it says was never given. The lawsuit also says unauthorized changes made by state officials made more work necessary to bring building up to code, which it says would not have been needed if the original work had not been done.

Besides the state, Governor Matt Mead, State Treasurer Mark Gordon, and several state legislative leaders and state agencies are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.

A spokesman for Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray on Friday morning declined to comment on the suit. A call to Governor Matt Mead’s office was not immediately returned, and an attempt to reach Treasurer Mark Gordon was unsuccessful.

You can read the lawsuit and related documents here.

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