While hearings were held today for five indicted Ohio Division of Wildlife officials one other is scheduled for Thursday.
Having at least their first pre-trail hearings in Brown County Common Pleas Court Wednesday were assistant Wildlife Division chief Randy Miller, Wildlife Division District 5 (Southwest Ohio manager Todd Haines, the Wildlife Division's human resources manager Michele Ward-Tackett, the Wildlife Division's law enforcement administrator James Lehman, and the state wildlife officer assigned to Brown County Allan Wright.
Brown County Clerk of Courts' on-line court document service says also that Lehman has a second hearing set for 9 a.m., April 28.
Also, Wildlife Division chief David Graham has a hearing set for 8 a.m., Thursday.
At issue is an alleged incident in which Wright was said to have allowed a South Carolina wildlife officer to use his Ohio address in order to obtain an Ohio hunting license.
Wright is charged with two counts of tampering with records (third-degree felonies) and one count of falsification for allegedly altering official Natural Resources records (a first-degree misdemeanor).
Also charged with one count of obstructing justice and one count of complicity to obstructing justice were the other Wildlife Division officials. These are fifth-degree felonies.
It is alleged that these officials should have handled the Wright case differently and investigated it as a criminal matter and not as an administrative matter that resulted in a verbal reprimand for Wright.
In a related matter, Wildlife Division acting chief Jim Marshall said a temporary replacement has been made for Ward-Tackett's position. Filling in on a temporary basis is Sue Johnson who retired from the Natural Resources' Human Resources group in 2004. Johnson had continued to work with the
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn