LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has granted a request to extend a deadline to replace a Wyoming sheriff.
A deadline this Thursday to replace Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley was too soon after the county commission accepted O’Malley’s resignation Sept. 15 to properly vet candidates to take his place when he retires Jan. 2, Albany County Democrats said in a lawsuit filed Monday.
The Democrats and commission must suspend the process of choosing O’Malley’s successor until Oct. 15, District Judge Tori R.A. Kricken ordered Tuesday.
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Kricken scheduled a hearing Oct. 14 and promised in court documents a quick follow-up ruling. Kricken didn’t yet rule on the lawsuit itself.
Wyoming law requires a sheriff to be selected within 15 days of an office becoming vacant. The sheriff’s political party chooses finalists from which the county commission names the next sheriff.
The Democrats’ lawsuit amounted to “political maneuvering” to postpone the appointment until after the upcoming election, Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent wrote in a response filed in court Tuesday.
A Democrat, an independent and two Republicans, including an incumbent commissioner, are competing for one of three seats on the county commission in the election Nov. 3.