Legal advice sought from state attorneys general by other government officials is often treated as a public record — but not in every state. Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill has never released such information citing attorney-client privilege.
Appointed by Governor Mark Gordon over 4 years ago, Hill has yet to publicly release any advisory opinions provided to other governmental entities, saying every one has been privileged and confidential.
Hill’s most recent clash with the media over the issue came when she declined to publicly release the advice she provided to local officials about how to handle citizen requests for election recounts.
Cheyenne-based news media attorney Bruce Moats calls it poor policy and questions whether it violates Wyoming’s public records law.
Hill is not alone in her position. An Associated Press review found that about one-fifth of states haven’t publicly posted attorney general’s opinions in recent years. Some attorney general offices say they haven’t provided any recent formal opinions.