Ninth District Court Judge Melissa Owens declined to issue an injunction stopping the Teton County Hospital District’s Board of Trustees from appointing a new trustee as they plan to do Tuesday.
In a lawsuit filed Feb. 10, Sandy Ress accuses the hospital board of violating Wyoming open meetings law by making decisions behind closed doors. He asked that the court prohibit St. John’s trustees from taking further action to fill the vacancy created Jan. 11 when Scott Gibson announced his resignation, and forbid Gibson from voting on his successor.
After hearing more than three hours of testimony Monday morning, Owens said petitioner Ress did not meet the burden of proving irreparable harm if the St. John’s Health board appoints a new trustee on Tuesday using a process that Ress contends they didn’t publicly vote on.
“But I do find, after hearing testimony and evidence here today,” Owens said, “there are some valid points being made in this case, and we will take those up at a later date.”
Laramie attorney Jason Tangeman, arguing for the hospital board, minimized Ress’ standing as a citizen not formally involved in the board.
“You have a citizen who wants to micromanage the board and tell the board what to do,” Tangeman said. “In this particular case on the merits, it just ain’t there.”
Ress’s attorney Bert Wolfley said that while the decision at hand might not be one that rings across the state, it is important to residents of Teton County who have an interest in the hospital board’s openness.
“This isn’t micromanaging,” Wolfley said. “This is trying to get the hospital to do things in the public view.”
Read more in Tuesday’s edition of the Jackson Hole Daily.
Editor in Chief Johanna Love has covered the Jackson Hole community as part of the News&Guide staff since 1998. She took the helm of the newsroom in 2017. She fields story tips and kudos as well as criticism and questions.
I wonder how much of the public's money was spent defending the hospital from the vocal "Advocate for the staff and services of Hospital". Something tells me Sandy has cost way more of the staff's time and the public's money than anyone realizes. The staff should be busy helping patients and not chatting with Sandy about what their job entails, explaining procedures or defending the hospital. What a waste of time and money.
Welcome to the discussion.
Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
The News&Guide welcomes comments from our paid subscribers. Tell us what you think. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!