Former Buffalo Chamber of Commerce CEO Angela Fox has appealed her conviction to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Fox’s appeal requests that three felony theft convictions be overturned. Fox was found guilty of three counts of felony theft in a jury trial in Buffalo in January 2019. The appeal was filed through the Wyoming public defender’s office.
The appeal does not dispute that Fox used the chamber’s credit cards and received goods and services from third parties through the use of those cards, according to the appeal. Instead, the appeal argues that Fox charged items to a credit card that she was authorized to use, obligating the funds of the chamber, and the chamber then voluntarily parted with its money by signing the checks to pay the credit card bills.
Fox’s appellant brief, filed with the Wyoming Supreme Court on Jan. 2, argues that based on the evidence presented at trial, no reasonable jury could have concluded that Fox was guilty of theft as defined by Wyoming’s statute.
That statue, 6-3-402, states that “a person is guilty of theft if he knowingly takes or exercises unauthorized control over or makes an unauthorized transfer of an interest in the property of another person with the purpose of depriving the other person of the property.”
Fox’s lawyers argue that the state presented no evidence that Fox took or exercised unauthorized control over any Chamber of Commerce property.
According to the appeal, under Wyoming law, “taking,” “unauthorized control,” and “property” all have specific legal meanings that, when properly applied and analyzed in this case, lead to the legal conclusion that Fox did not commit theft as defined by statute.
During Fox’s trial, Johnson County prosecuting attorney Tucker Ruby presented receipts and a financial forensics report to show that Fox used chamber credit cards on multiple occasions, spending more than $8,000 on personal charges.
Judge William Edelman sentenced Fox in the Fourth Judicial District Court on May 13, 2019, to two to five years in prison.
Edelman suspended all but 90 days of the sentence. Edelman also ordered Fox to serve 10 years of supervised probation until restitution in the amount of $16,601 is paid to the chamber.
The state’s appellant brief is due to the Wyoming Supreme Court by Feb. 2.