Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UPDATED: ODNR takes final action against former Castalia hatchery superintendent

David A. Insley, the former superintendent of the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Castalia cold-water fish hatchery near Sandusky, was dismissed from the agency June 6 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Natural Resources Department deputy chief of communications Matt Eiselstein said the agency found “just cause for discipline” and which led to Isley’s dismissal. 
“He has been separated from his duties at Castalia fish hatchery due to (alleged) dishonesty regarding use on a state credit card,” Eiselstein said.
Eiselstein said also that Insley had 10 days to deliver an appeal to the State Personnel Board of Review but that the Natural Resources Department “has not be notified of an appeal at this time.” 
In January, Insley was arrested following an investigation into alleged illegal activity involving the misuse of a state-issued credit card.
However, it's been reported that any criminal charges against Insley were dismissed by a grand jury.

A January 20 News-Herald outdoors blog story on the matter noted that “the action was taken based on an arrest by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Highway Patrol...”
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol in conjunction with the Inspector General’s Office and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) executed an arrest warrant on David A. Insley, Superintendent of the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Castalia, Ohio in Erie County. He was charged with theft in office and incarcerated at the Erie County Jail. The investigation began when Patrol was notified this past August by ODNR that they believed the suspect was misusing his state issued credit card,” the outdoors blog story quoted an Ohio Highway Patrol press release at the time.
Castalia is the state’s premier cold-water fish hatchery. It was purchased in 1997 for $1.3 million and recently saw the completion of $7 million in improvements.
Before the purchase then-governor George V. Voinovich intervened personally and became instrumental in seeing that the Wildlife Division buy the 90-acre site which had been used by a private operator as a trout hatchery.
At Castalia, the Wildlife Division raises more than 400,000 Little Manistee-strain of steelhead trout for stocking into five Northeast Ohio streams: the Vermilion, Rocky, Chagrin and Grand rivers as well as Conneaut Creek.
Insley had been the manager of the fish hatchery from April 1988 to January when he was arrested on the charge.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

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