CASPER, Wyo. — Casper Mayor Bruce Knell has resigned from his position after allegations of domestic violence surfaced in the public sphere on Wednesday. Knell has denied the allegations, and is presumed innocent at this time.
City Manager Carter Napier, City Attorney Eric Nelson and Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters held a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Thursday to address the ensuing public dialogue. They discussed the existence of procedures outlined in statute for council to remove the mayor. Because the mayor is not an employee of the city, there was no option for summary removal, Napier said.
About 10 minutes after the conference concluded and the reporters dispersed, Knell went into the city manager’s officer to deliver his resignation letter and collect personal effects.
That letter was provided to Oil City News and is included below.
In it, Knell says that he already feels convicted in the court of public opinion, and that the allegations have cost him personal and professional relationships.
The allegations were contained in a petition for a protection order written and filed by his wife, Stacy Erin Knell (surname Casper), on Monday, Sept. 18. It included medical documentation detailing her treatment for a head injury, which included 13 staples to close a laceration on her scalp.
Texas authorities confirmed that an investigation had taken place, and no arrests were made. City officials said at the press conference Thursday that they were unaware of any active investigations into the incident either in Texas or Wyoming.
“I can unequivocally assure you that I will be exonerated,” Knell said in a statement on Wednesday to Oil City News. “I can assure you the evidence absolutely proves that I did not do this and they were able to see that.”
Knell’s letter also highlights points of pride from his tenure on council. He was elected in 2020.
“I am particularly proud of my work on securing $22 million over the next four years for road improvements in Casper, securing the fifth cent sales tax which will be used for infrastructure and other programs within the City, and the antidiscrimination ordinance.”
“I wish the City of Casper the very best and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the citizens of Casper.”