CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The state treasurer has the ultimate authority to determine which Cheyenne Capital Fund records can be made public, Wyoming Attorney General Greg Phillips said in an opinion issued this week.
Phillips said a 2006 special confidentiality agreement, which essentially made confidential and protected all Cheyenne Capital Fund documents received by the state treasurer’s office barring a court order, is unenforceable.
“A state agency does not have the authority to enter into an agreement that is contrary to law,” Phillips’ opinion, issued Tuesday, said.
The 2006 agreement was signed by former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis.
Current State Treasurer Joe Meyer requested the attorney general’s opinion after The Associated
Press made an open
records request for the information on Cheyenne Capital Fund.
Cheyenne Capital Fund is a private equity fund established in 2003 by founder and current manager John Fitzgerald. Cheyenne Capital manages about $180 million in state funds.
Meyer and Fitzgerald said earlier that they thought some documents could be made public.
The fund has performed well, Meyer said earlier.
Meyer said Thursday that up until now, everything Cheyenne Capital sent to his office was stamped confidential.
Meyer said he will be asking Fitzgerald to justify why the documents are marked confidential.
“Then I will decide,” he said.
Meyer believes Fitzgerald can release information about the identity of the state’s partners in the limited partnership and how much money they are investing and where.
But information about specific investments, such as a large block of stock, probably can be considered a trade secret, Meyer said.
Quoting from a Wyoming Supreme Court opinion in a public records case, Phillips wrote, “With some necessary exceptions, recognized by Wyoming’s records and meetings acts, state agencies must act in a fishbowl.”