Friday, December 13, 2013

BREAKING & UPDATED: 18 Ohio wildlife officers under cloud for allegedly hunting while on the clock

In a scathing investigation that implicates 18 Ohio Division of Wildlife agent for hunting while on the clock, the Ohio Inspector General has issued a 20-page report on the alleged abuses.

Nearly two years ago the Ohio Inspector General investigated two Wildlife Division officers assigned to southwest Ohio. This investigation was launched to determined whether the law enforcement officers were hunting while on duty and if so, did they submit time slip reports in order to receive their pay.

When the investigation concluded that the two officers in fact had hunted while on duty and claimed the time both men were fired by the parent Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

However, in its 20-page report the Ohio Inspector General's office noted that it wanted to inquire further as to whether these two incidents were isolated or “were common occurrences in other parts of the state.”

In order to determine if this indeed was the case the Inspector General requested not only time slip records from the Wildlife Division but also deer harvest data. These two sets of documents were then compared, the report notes.

While some of the documentation showed that a deer was taken while an individual was on duty other data did not support that occurrence, the report says.

Likewise, some officers later changed their time slips to reflect they were not on duty at the time they killed a deer, the report also says.

“As a result of previous investigations, it has been determined that many wildlife officers did not follow ODNR communication policy of marking on duty at the beginning of their shift, off duty at the end of their shift, or provide hourly updates of the their status.

“Also, the Ohio Division of Wildlife does not audit or compare the number of hours marked as being on duty,” said the report on page Five.

The officers whom the Ohio Inspector General alleges hunted or killed a deer either while on the clock or else made errors in accounting for their time include: David Gilkey; Brian Baker; Roy Rucker; Troy Reimund; Jeremy Carter; Ryan Garrison; Brian Bury; Brett Barnes; Travis Abele; Brad Baske; Joshua Zientek; Jeffrey Tipton; David Brown; Nicholas Turner; Matthew Smith; Brad Kiger; Scott Denamen; James Carnes.

In all, the report says, 11 of the officers “clearly harvested deer during their on-duty hours.”

And 12 officer harvested deer, “if they worked the number of hours they claimed,” says the report on pages 13 and 14.

“The total number of deer harvesting instances would be 23,” says the report also.

A second group, says the report, “did not follow the ODNR communication policy,” further citing that the agency is lax in its accounting of hours worked, when officers sign in and sign out.

“This lack of accountability and supervision along with the wildlife officers' compliance with the (ODNR's) communication policy is also an officer safety issue,” the report notes.

As for recommendations the Ohio Inspector General lists three.

They include: reviews the actions of all employees to determine whether their conduct warrants further administrative action or training; review the Ohio Department of Administrative Services' time and attendance policy, and state of Ohio ethics laws with all personnel; and requires that supervisors audit work hours claimed by wildlife officers to assure accuracy and compliance with laws and policy.

The Natural Resources Department announced that all of the 18 officers were placed on administrative duties and assigned to their respective district offices.

Under such stipulations protocol typically includes the turning in of weaponry, motor vehicles and not permitted to engage in any law enforcement activity.

That last item could give the Wildlife Division at least a little heartburn.  Ohio is still in the midst of several hunting seasons, including waterfowl, archery deer as well as small game.

And the statewide muzzle-loading deer-hunting season is set for Jan. 4 through 7.

Thus, lacking 18 officers with law enforcement authority on top of any number of existing vacancies in staffing counties with an agent may very well spread thin the Wildlife Division's line against deer poaching during the muzzle-loading season.

Yet Ohio's Wildlife Division is not the only such agency experiencing accusations of wrong-doing by some of its employees.

Across the Ohio River in Kentucky that state's Inspector General found alleged improprieties with some Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources personnel as well.
Kentucky's Inspector General recently issued findings that allege some agency officials pulled strings to have free fish delivered to private ponds. That is something that most farm pond owners are ineligible to get.

The Kentucky Inspector General also alleges that another agency official ordered a number of state employees on state time and driving a state motor vehicle to pick up building material for a former head of the department, reports the Associated Press in Kentucky.

Read more here:

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


  1. You would think they would learn. The attitude of the Department of Wildlife is obviously that they are above the law they are meant to enforce!!


  3. Well I 'm glad I bought my own gas, used my own vehicle, and paid for my hunting license and deer tags like other ethical hunters do as well to pay officer wages while they hunt on the time clock. We also probably subsidized their use of state gas and vehicle at the time.

    Really "made an error in accounting for their time", my ass!!! Please don't make it sound like it was an accidental error, do you think the public is really that naive?

    Well lets see, you can't take their vehicle because it probably was a state vehicle. We don't know what weapon they used at the time so now they can give up any old junk gun they have that is legal for deer hunting. I guess they better just not take part in any law enforcement activity as I see it.

    If you can't tell this really pisses me off. I have never had any ODNR violations, but have met some of these guys in the field checking licenses and permission. What arrogant assholes some,but not all of them can be. Just like anonymous said above" the attitude of the Department of Wildlife is obviously that they are above the law they are meant to enforce".

    How hypocritical is our judicial system???

    I will be watching to see how this plays out!!