What is the Law on Bribery in Wyoming and What are the Punishments for it?
Bribery refers to the act of paying money or offering another kind of benefit in return for a favor. Bribery is not permitted any of the states of the USA. In the state of Wyoming, bribery is dealt as per the provisions of Chapter 5 of the 2014 Wyoming statutes.
Bribery Related to Public Officials
Bribery by public officials is covered under Section 6-5-102 of Chapter 5. A person will be guilty of bribery if:
- He offers to provide any kind of pecuniary benefit, privilege, or testimonial to a public official in return for his vote, discretion, or any other act in his official capacity
- Being a public official, asks, accepts, or agrees to accept a pecuniary benefit, privilege, or personal advantage in return for his vote, discretion, or any other act that can be influenced by him.
Punishment for Bribery Related to Public Officials
As per the provisions of Section 6-5-102 of Chapter 5, bribery is a felony and punishable by both a jail sentence and fine. It is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
Compensation for Past Official Behavior
A public official will be guilty of bribery if he accepts any pecuniary benefit and privilege in return for his past official acts involving the exercise of discretion, decisions taken in favor of a person, or violation of statutory responsibilities. Compensation is any kind of benefit received and not limited to the acceptance of an employment offer. As per the provisions of Section 6-5-103 of Chapter 5, a public official who receives compensation for his past acts is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
Soliciting Unlawful Compensation
According to the provisions of Section 6-5-104 of Chapter 5, a public official who solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit for the performance of an official act knowing that he needs to do it without receiving any compensation or for compensation less than what was required. A person guilty of soliciting unlawful compensation is punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both.
Designation of a Supplier
A public official should act in an impartial manner while dealing with government contracts. According to the provisions of Section 6-5-105 of Chapter 5, a public official should not ask a contractor or bidder to deal with a specific supplier for procuring goods and services while bidding or fulfilling a contract of the government.
Any government contract that is entered in violation of this section is against the public policy and hence is voidable. As per the provisions of Section 6-5-105, the designation of a supplier is punishable as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding $750.
As per the provisions of Section 6-5-107, a public official will be guilty of official misconduct if he obtains any pecuniary benefit or maliciously causes harm to another person if he knowingly:
- Commits unauthorized acts in relation to his duty
- Refrains from performing official duties as required by the law
- Violates any statute that is related to his official duties
Punishment for Official Misconduct
As per the provisions of Section 6-5-107, official misconduct is punishable as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punished with a fine not exceeding $750. While seeking the punishment for official misconduct, the prosecution needs to prove that the public official failed to perform his official duties intentionally.