Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wheels of justice turning slowly in the case of the five indicted Wildlife Division officials

A hearing requested by attorneys representing five indicted Ohio Division of Wildlife officials was vacated Tuesday because the defendants choose not to compel the Ohio Inspector General’s office to provide additional documents for preparing their defense.

The matter was vacated because the defense accepted the Inspector General’s office's view that such documentation simply did not exist, said Brown County Prosecutor Jessica A. Little.

However, the motion to suppress/dismiss all charges will be reviewed at 11 a.m., Sept. 2 before Brown County Common Please Court Judge Scott Gusweiler who may or may not render an immediate decision on the petition, Little also said.

Little said as well that she fully anticipates the issue will go to trial.

“At least I am preparing for it that way,” Little said.

As for when ultimately the case may proceed to trial, Little said she “really doesn’t know.”

“But my hope is that this will go to trial before end of the year. And it would be nice if it were done before Thanksgiving. I have a major capital case that I’m working on,” Little said.

The April 2 indictment against the Wildlife Division officials stems from an alleged incident in which the state wildlife officer assigned to Brown County - Allan Wright - was said to have allowed a South Carolina wildlife officer to use his Ohio address in order to obtain an Ohio hunting license on Nov. 5, 2006.

It is alleged that the five high-ranking Wildlife Division officials should have handled the Wright incident differently as a criminal matter and not as an administrative matter that resulted in a verbal reprimand for Wright.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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