Summary of Decision March 28, 2012
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Case Name: LARAMIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT v. KENNETH COOK
Docket Number: S-11-0152
Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, Honorable John G. Fenn, Judge
Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Sylvia Lee Hackl, Deputy Laramie County Attorney, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Stephen H. Kline and Melinda S. McCorkle, Kline Law Office, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Kline
Date of Decision: March 28, 2012
Facts: Kenneth Cook was terminated from his employment as a Laramie County Sheriff Department (Sheriff Department) deputy for violating department policies related to report writing and firearms security. Deputy Cook requested a contested case hearing before the Laramie County Sheriff (Sheriff), who upheld his dismissal from the department. He then petitioned the district court for review. The district court reversed, concluding that the record did not contain substantial evidence demonstrating cause existed to dismiss Deputy Cook on the basis of his violation of department policies. The Sheriff’s Department appealed. The Court agreed with the district court that the record does not substantiate the Sheriff’s findings that there was sufficient cause to terminate Deputy Cook’s employment with the Sheriff’s Department.
Issues: Both parties present the same issue for our review: Whether the Laramie County Sheriff’s decision to terminate Appellee from his employment as a deputy sheriff was supported by substantial evidence, was in accordance with law, or was arbitrary, capricious, or constituted an abuse of discretion.
Holdings: The Court affirmed the district court’s decision reversing the Sheriff’s order.
Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the court.