CHEYENNE — An announcement will be made regarding the complaint made against state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, sometime before the Wyoming Legislature’s next general session, which begins in January.
The complaint was made by Wyoming Hospital Association President Eric Boley in early March, and led to the Management Council holding a meeting to discern whether a formal investigation was necessary.
Senate and House leaders never commented on the outcome, however, nor did members of the committee. One more meeting has been held by the Management Council since the incident, and it was last Wednesday. No topic was provided, members were called to order and then they immediately moved into executive session.
There was no public comment when they came out of executive session.
“There is no announcement at this time. However, there will be one before the start of the new session,” Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in response to an email inquiry Monday.
Neither Bouchard nor Boley commented Monday on the incident or the progress of the Management Council in addressing the issue.
When Boley wrote the complaint regarding Rule 22 in the Joint Rules of the House and the Senate, he said Bouchard allegedly continually uses intimidation and bullying tactics, and his behavior had to be brought to someone’s attention for corrective action.
“I have felt personally and professionally attacked on several occasions by the Senator, and I am grateful that the meetings are recorded to back up my claims,” he said in his letter. “I encourage you and the other members of leadership who may be reviewing the complaint to watch the Committee videos.”
Bouchard previously sat on the Senate Labor Health and Social Services Committee; Management Audit Committee; Senate Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee; and the Select Committee on Legislative Facilities, Technology and Process.
He was stripped of those responsibilities on March 10 in a 19-10 Senate vote. Dockstader moved that Bouchard be removed from the committees due to a “continued pattern of intimidating and disorderly conduct, and other behavior that is unbecoming to a member of the Senate.”
However, Boley revealed he was concerned with more than Bouchard’s behavior in the committee.
He said that on March 8, he was confronted by the Cheyenne lawmaker and Sen. Tom James, R-Rock Springs.
He said it was in “an abusive and demanding tone and (they) tried to intimidate me with their body language (hands on hips, arms waving in my face) for not providing them with an amendment to a House bill that was being worked on in the Senate Labor Committee and had moved to the Committee of the Whole in the Senate.”
Boley said although he provided the committee with an amendment, Bouchard was angry he didn’t give him a copy directly. This led to a further argument, where the senator said he would “expose the fear mongering and fear tactics hospitals were using during the pandemic,” according to Boley.
Boley ended his letter by explaining the incident and asking that the allegations in the complaint be addressed swiftly.
He said he would notify legislators if he is being retaliated against or treated poorly as a result of the complaint coming forward, and would cooperate with any investigation.
“These are tyrannical dictators,” Bouchard told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle at the end of March. “I don’t work for so-called leadership. I work for the people. They abused their power, and it’s because I won’t bow down to them.”
Bouchard said there was a “whisper campaign” that started with Senate leadership to dispose of him of his responsibilities. He doesn’t believe the allegations, and said that the complaint can’t be substantiated.
If the lawmakers move forward with a formal investigation, and a special committee is created to address accusations of disorderly conduct, there is a possibility Bouchard could face consequences.
“The committee may recommend dismissal of the complaint, reprimand, censure, expulsion or other discipline it deems appropriate,” the joint rules state. “The appropriate house may dismiss the complaint, expel, censure, reprimand or otherwise discipline the member as it deems appropriate. Expulsion of a member shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members, as provided by Article III Section 12 of the Constitution. Reprimand or censure of a member shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the elected members.”
Bouchard’s current term in the Senate ends in January 2025. He ran for the sole U.S. House seat in Congress against Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., this year, and lost to Harriet Hageman in the Republican primary.