Mark Gordon FILE

Gov. Mark Gordon gives a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in his office at the Jonah Business Center in Cheyenne. Jacob Byk/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A lawsuit filed by Gov. Mark Gordon while he was state treasurer has been settled by the governor and current state Treasurer Curt Meier.

Gordon filed the lawsuit in 2016 over what he saw as the unconstitutional omission of the treasurer from the State Capitol Building Rehabilitation and Oversight Group. His contention at the time was as controller of state finances, he should have an active role in the planning of the now nearly completed Capitol Square Project.

Former Gov. Matt Mead and other members of the oversight group had argued the statutes that governed their work didn’t conflict with the constitutional provisions cited by the treasurer.

“I want to thank Treasurer Meier for working diligently to achieve a result that respects the Wyoming Constitution,” Gordon said in a statement released Thursday from his office.

A district court had ruled against Gordon’s initial claim of unconstitutionality, and the case moved on to the Wyoming Supreme Court in late 2017. The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that parts of state law related to the $300 million Capitol Square Project were unconstitutional because they negated the state treasurer’s authority in overseeing the project.

The case was sent back to district court to determine the narrow areas of authority the Supreme Court decision refers to for the treasurer’s review.

In a joint press release Thursday, Gordon and Meier said a settlement had been reached to identify which contracts are subject to the provisions of Wyoming’s constitution and a procedure for approving such contracts.

“I would like to thank Governor Gordon for taking the initiative to challenge the Legislature’s decision when he was treasurer,” Meier said in the statement. “I believe our Constitution clearly states who should approve these types of contracts, and the agreement reaffirms this belief.”

Ramsey Scott is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s state government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3124 or rscott@wyomingnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @RamseyWyoming.

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