Former Mills Mayor Charged With Four Misdemeanor Offenses
The former Mayor of Mills is accused of skirting the town council's authority to obtain property, telling a town employee not to let investigators into town hall, and having a liquor license when she wasn't supposed to.
Marrolyce Wilson has been charged with conflict of interest (maximum penalty $5,000 fine), official misconduct (maximum penalty $5,000 fine), interference with a peace officer (maximum penalty 1 year in jail) and being an unauthorized holder of a local liquor license (all charges are misdemeanors).
Special Agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations say in February 2014, during a Mills Town Council meeting, there was action taken regarding several parcels of town land up for sale.
Wilson had submitted a bid of $20,000 for one parcel that had an assessed value of $45,000, and was the sole bidder.
It was a sealed bid process and there was a bid for each of the other 2 parcels.
When they got a recording of an executive session held in July 2014, agents learned that Wilson and then town clerk and treasurer Lisa Whetstone, went into another room shortly after the bids had been opened during an earlier meeting on February 2014.
At Wilson's request, a bid had been written by Whetstone after the other bids had been opened, but Whetstone wrote the wrong name on the bid.
Both Wilson and Whetstone admitted that this occurred, and Wilson claimed she actually had received a written bid, but had lost it before the bid opening.
Wilson was asked to resign by then council member Lawanda Codgill, but Wilson refused and a long conversation took place as to how to keep what had happened quiet and how it would impact the town.
Eventually, all of the bids were voided and the public reason given was improper publication of notice of sale.
The claim was the notice of sale was to be printed in the local newspaper for three consecutive weeks, but it was only printed three times in less than two weeks.
New bids were taken for the parcels of land and the council approved a $15,000 bid for the parcel of land that Wilson was originally interested in.
The bid was from Stacy Faigle, who is Wilson's daughter.
As mayor, Wilson signed a quitclaim deed on January 15th 2015 and the DCI later learned that a $15,000 check was deposited by Whetstone on March 27th 2015.
A note on the check indicated a town treasurer employee received that check from both Faigle and Wilson, on March 26th.
Records further showed that Faigle quitclaimed the property to Wilson in February 2015 and the deed was filed on March 12, 2015.
Wilson then sold the property for a substantial profit. She had paid $5,000 less for the property through by doing the deal through her daughter, Faigle.
When interviewed by agents in late August 2016, Wilson admitted that she advised Faigle to bid lower than the original $20,000 bid, to get a better deal, and she provided all of the funds for the purchase.
After the interview, Wilson resigned as mayor.
In April 2016, a town employee contacted the DCI, stating she had been told by both Wilson and Whetstone to deny law enforcement any access to town hall, even if they possess a search warrant, or else she would be fired.
The DCI and auditors were in town hall in January 2016.
There was a tape recording where Wilson and Whetstone disciplined the employee for letting the DCI and auditors conduct their search warrant.
The employee had many of her job duties taken away.
While the investigation was going on, the DCI also learned that Wilson had a retail liquor license for the Hideaway Bar and when it was renewed in August 2015, Whetstone issued the license.
Wyoming statute states that it's illegal for a mayor to hold, transfer or be issued a retail liquor license within the jurisdiction where they hold office.
Wilson's next hearing is scheduled for February 24th, 2017 in Natrona County Circuit Court.
Her trial is scheduled for February 13, 2017.