After Audit Calls For ‘Change In Culture,’ Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Hires An Insider

Jan 14, 2019

Credit KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES, FACEBOOK

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has hired an insider as its new agency chief. That move comes after a critical state auditor’s report that uncovered numerous violations of how the agency handled public money, in violation of many state and federal laws.

State Auditor Mike Harmon’s December report questions funds spent on alcohol, meals, prepaid debit cards and outside contracts that were poorly monitored. The Herald Leader reports Harmon said the department of fish and wildlife resources needed to undergo a “change in culture.”

When the agency was given the chance to appoint a new chief from outside its ranks, the department rejected several finalists. The agency then hired Rich Storm, the insider who interviewed the rejected job applicants.

Some Kentucky sportsmen are publicly protesting the new hire saying the audit is only the latest in a series of problems at the department.

Earlier last year, a state ethics panel charged two supervisors with interfering with an investigation of a member of the Fish and Wildlife Commission, who himself was charged with obstructing legal duck hunting near his property in Franklin County.