Hedquist Public Hearing Rules Given Preliminary Approval
During Tuesday’s work session, Casper City Council reviewed and gave preliminary approval to the procedure for councilman Craig Hedquist's Apr. 29 informal public hearing.
According to the procedure outlined in council documents, city-hired attorneys and attorneys representing Hedquist will first be given 30 minutes each to make opening arguments to city council.
Council will then hear statements from witnesses identified by both parties. Afterward, if necessary, the council - not the attorneys - will present additional questions to the witnesses.
After all testimony is heard, if council finds Hedquist violated conflict of interest laws, the elected body may either reprimand the councilman or ask for his resignation. Hedquist, however, does not have to comply if he's asked to resign.
If necessary, council also has the option to postpone the ruling.
Casper mayor Paul Meyer says the hearing will give Hedquist an opportunity to explain his side of the story.
“I’ve heard, possibly, that councilman Hedquist will not use this venue and, you know, that’s all well and good,” Meyer said. “We must provide this opportunity for him and ourselves also.”
The procedure must be formally approved during a council regular session. It will likely be approved before the hearing takes place Apr. 29.
Ward I councilman Bob Hopkins will act as the hearing officer.
Hedquist, who owns the eponymous Hedquist Construction, is accused of violating conflict of interest laws.
In a related investigation, the city accused Hedquist of committing workplace violence during a profane altercation last year. In December, Hedquist apologized for using “unfiltered language” during the argument.
The informal hearing will occur in place of a contested case hearing. Hedquist was not in attendance for Tuesday's meeting.