Still Investigating Those Important Trips

I’ve been flogging the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries controversy on these pages, so I feel compelled to continue as events unfold.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported this morning that Daniel A. Hoffler has resigned as Chairman of the Game and Inland Fisheries Board. Hoffler had been in the center of a storm of criticism over a “safari” he and others took to Zimbabwe.

I had previously wondered why Gov. Warner had not been asked to comment on the dust-up. The RT-D reported that Ellen Qualls, the Governor’s press secretary, “said the governor will not comment on the controversy over the credit-card use and other allegations against the department’s leadership until after the state’s internal auditor completes an investigation into a complaint last fall that led to revelations about the safari.” These investigations take time, I guess. I hope the investigators don’t have to travel to Africa to verify the expenses.

The Zimbabwe trip may be the tip of the iceberg:

From January 2003 to February 2004, department leaders traveled to six national conventions, including trips to Las Vegas and Reno, Nev. In most cases, the same four officials made the trips: Hoffler, Woodfin, Bradbery and Caison.

Six national conventions in 13 months? What great new ideas came from all this travel? How is it that agency morale apparently plummeted during this period of lavish conventioneering?

Someday, someone working for a Virginia Governor will recognize the money-pit scam that is convention and seminar travel by state employees, especially top brass. It’s definitely not just a Game and Inland Fisheries thing. High-flying state government muck-a-mucks could learn more by doing Google searches or just walking around their agencies, but they’d rather gush about all the great “networking” that went on at the Reno conference.

Update: Addison over at Sic Semper Tyrannis has more.


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  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I have had, over the years, two neighbors who were game wardens. Both expressed dissatisfaction with their employment conditions, and not all of that was related to wages.

    Neither still works for the department.

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