Monday, October 31, 2011

Federal trial date set for DOW officer Allan Wright

What began back in 2006 for Allan Wright, the-then state wildlife officer assigned to Brown County, will extend into at least 2012.

Wright - who is under indictment for felony and misdemeanor violations of the federal government’s Lacey Act - won’t see a trial in federal court until Feb. 22, 2012.

Wright agree to state complaints that he allowed a South Carolina wildlife officer to use his Ohio address to obtain a resident state hunting license.

He subsequently was given a written reprimand which was eventually expunged.

That action set in legal motion charges being brought against five current or retired Ohio Division of Wildlife officials.

The cases involving these officials remains pending before Ohio’s 12th District Court of Appeals.

However, Wright had been reinstated to his Wildlife Division post, only to be placed on unpaid administrative leave in August when he was charged in federal court for the alleged Lacy Act infractions.

Based on Ohio law, Wright remained on that status for a two-month period before being elevated to paid administrative leave, though the Ohio Department of Natural Resources continues to refuse to pay Wright his wages.

In turn the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police has filed an appeal against the Natural Resources Department, demanding that Wright be awarded his wages, including back pay.

The FOP is the bargaining agent for the Wildlife Division’s commissioned officers.

All of which remains in legal limbo at this time.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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