Lesson from Game and Inland Fisheries

One Man’s Trashcommented

yesterday on the news of William Woodfin’s resignation as Director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. A scathing auditor’s report on numerous irregularities in the agency was the proximate cause.

Today, editorials here, here, and here reacted, with the Virginian-Pilot being typical:

A state auditor’s report identifying rampant waste and abuse at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries presents a stunning indictment of the goings-on at a major agency.

Reading the account of personal junkets, high-priced trinkets and overblown “protection” units brings to mind a banana republic where kingpins stomp around in safari hats and expensive boots, lording over the peons who keep the bosses supplied with game and sport.

Where were the checks and balances? If not for a citizen whistle-blower and the state’s fraud, waste, and abuse hotline, the misdeeds, primarily in the enforcement unit, would be continuing full bore.

The Pilot calls on Gov. Warner to replace the agency’s entire Board of Directors.

In state government, few watchdogs exist. That’s why it took citizens to uncover these practices. I suspect that many agency big-wigs are doing things similar in nature to what the Game and Inland Fisheries audit criticized. I hope they take the audit to heart and I hope that Gov. Warner, in his waning months as Governor, reminds his appointees that their jobs are about serving the taxpayers, not collecting perks and building empires.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    The Pilot has it right. DGIF Director Woodfin and Board Chairman Hoffler had a severe case of noblis oblige. There is absolutely no accountability or fiduciary responsibility on that Board. 99% of the license buying Virginia sportsmen who 100% fund that department couldn’t tell you their CD representative’s name.

  2. subpatre Avatar

    It always good to get confirmation of my previous comments. (That’s a Rush Limbaugh “I told ya so!”)

    It’s good to see this finally hit print. What’s not covered but also of concern –perhaps more important in the long run– are the policies that the current BoD enacted. DGIF is tasked with game/fish management. They’re crippled by field resignations, and those left have to impliment game rules passed by this Board; at least one of whom is anti-hunting.

    Yes, the entire Board should be replaced. But the ultimate responsibility is still the “sportman’s friend” Warner. Republicans need to make sure this millstone is hung around his neck.

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