Friday, September 10, 2010

UPDATED Embattled Ohio Division of Wildlife to lose acting chief

In an e-mail statement sent Thursday to the employees of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, acting agency chief Jim Marshall stated: “All; I will be retiring from the Division of Wildlife on September 30, 2010.”

Marshall was to have retired April 30. However, officials with the parent Ohio Department of Natural Resources had asked Marshall to remain as the Wildlife Division’s acting chief.

This was done when agency chief David Graham was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of his indictment on two fifth-degree felony counts now before the Brown County Common Please Court.

When Marshall leaves as acting Wildlife Division chief he will be replaced by John Daugherty, currently the agency’s acting assistant chief.

Daugherty also is the Wildlife Division’s supervisor for the agency’s District Two (Northwest Ohio) office in Findlay.

It is alleged that Graham and four other top Wildlife Division officials failed to properly take administrative action regarding a matter involving the state wildlife officer assigned to Brown County, Alan Wright.

The legal matter involving the indicted officials remains before the court with the last hearing having been conducted Sept. 2. It is expected the judge handling the case will shortly render an opinion on some legal aspects regarding the subject.

Jim’s done very well and we are, of course, sad to see him go,” said Mike Shelton, the Natural Resources Department’s chief spokesman.

“But we understand that he wants a life beyond work and we are thankful that he has stayed on for as long as he has.”

Shelton said also that Daugherty will not be collecting any additional pay, commensurate with that typically awarded to a serving division chief.

Also, Shelton said, the five Wildlife Division officials have to-date collected while on paid administrative leave a combined total of $159,412.43.

This blog posting may be updated as further information becomes available.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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