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Fish and Wildlife Resources Audit

Fish and Wildlife Resources Audit

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Published by CJ WEB ADMIN
Kentucky Inspector General report on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Kentucky Inspector General report on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

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Published by: CJ WEB ADMIN on Dec 26, 2013
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01/15/2014

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Commonwealth of Kentucky OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR SHARED SERVICES
 
Final Report OIGSS Case:
2013-OIG-013
Date of Report
: December 6, 2013
Investigators:
 Alan C. Wagers, Scott Hatfield, Rodney Beck, Cristina Violet, Gerald Lang, Kelly Lewis, and Walter Hammons
I. SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION:
The Office of Inspector General for Shared Services (hereafter OIGSS) was requested by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to investigate allegations concerning the Kentucky Department for Fish and Wildlife Resources (hereafter KDFW or department) that were
contained in an anonymous letter received by the governor’s office late in 2012
(EXHIBIT). During the course of investigating the validity of those allegations, other allegations were uncovered that were also investigated. A summary of all allegations, meritorious or not, follows in Section I (A-D). Section I (E) lists a summary of allegations that had no merit or could not be substantiated, and as to which no findings or recommendations were made. Section II of this report lists all individuals that were interviewed by OIGSS and the date or dates of the interviews. This section also includes the organizational chart for the department. Section III of this report contains findings and recommendations concerning allegations that could be substantiated. Section IV of this report contains findings or recommendations as to certain allegations that could not be substantiated. This report is submitted on CD only, for ease of reference, due to the number of interviews conducted and the exhibits/references contained herein. Contained on the CD are three folders. The folder
named “2013
-OIG-
011” contains
the report in PDF format. The folder
named “Interviews with EXHIBITs” contains folders bearing the name of each person
interviewed and any exhibits that were particular to a specific individual. Any individuals interviewed in which exhibits were not used
are found in the folder named “INTERVIEWS WITHOUT EXHIBITS.”
 
The third folder named “Report EXHIBITS” contains exhibits that
were general in nature and that might appear more than once in the final report. Additionally, this report contains hyperlinks to interviews or exhibits (as noted in blue font) that can be clicked on which will take the reader to the particular interview or exhibit referenced.
 
 
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OIGSS contacted Commissioner Jon GASSETT, KDFW, by telephone on September 10, 2013. At the time he was contacted, GASSETT was out-of-state at a conference. OIGSS attempted to schedule an interview with him prior to September 20, 2013, the date his resignation from the department was to be final, but he declined unless he could be accompanied  by counsel. OIGSS advised him that this office was conducting an administrative investigation and not a criminal one, and that no other department employee had refused to participate. GASSETT again declined to be interviewed, on advice of counsel. OIGSS then made no further attempts to interview him.
A. Allegations contained in anonymous complaint that resulted in OIGSS investigation Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Jon GASSETT:
GASSETT allegedly used Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (herein, KDFW) employee labor, equipment, and supplies for personal use; and used his position as commissioner for personal benefit: 1.
 
Instructed KDFW employees to bring KDFW equipment, including pumps and fans, to his personal residence and pump water out of his flooded crawlspace during work hours. 2.
 
Used his position as KDFW commissioner to promote his personal businesses. 3.
 
Used KDFW equipment and boats for his personal consulting business. 4.
 
Removed KDFW decals from KDFW boats in order to utilize the boats for  personal use. 5.
 
Directed Facilities Maintenance Branch (FMB) workshop (a.k.a. woodshop, herein, the shop) employees to construct furniture, including a cabinet, for his home using KDFW tools and materials during work hours. 6.
 
KDFW employees used state owned lumber and equipment to construct a deck at his residence. 7.
 
KDFW employees installed countertops and cabinets made from KDFW lumber in his home. 8.
 
Decorated the front porch of his personal residence with confiscated elk antlers. 9.
 
Asked KDFW employees to make repairs to his personal lawn equipment during work hours at the shop. 10.
 
Used a KDFW bulldozer for work on his farm in Bald Knob.
 
 
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11.
 
Asked a KDFW employee to do free electrical work at his personal residence. 12.
 
Put a mounted black bear belonging to KDFW in his house. 13.
 
Gave special KDFW elk hunting permits to an organization with the condition that they hire his father as their elk-hunting guide. 14.
 
Incurred excessive travel expenses. 15.
 
Intimidated KDFW employees. 16.
 
Alienated members of the General As
sembly, LRC, Governor’s office, legislators,
and other organizations. 17.
 
Opposed stipend granted to officers of the KDFW Law Enforcement Division in 2012.
Engineering Technical Associate III John AKERS
 — 
former supervisor at the FMB shop:
AKERS allegedly misused equipment and supplies owned by KDFW, utilized state inmate workers and FMB employees for personal projects, and abused his authority as a KDFW employee: 1.
 
Stored and constructed items using confiscated antlers at the shop instead of destroying them as required by statute. 2.
 
Took elk antlers from the shop when removing his personal property. 3.
 
Supervised and constructed furniture, including elk antler tables, elk antler mirrors, elk antler coat racks, turkey calls, canes, a wine cabinet and marble countertops, using state materials and labor for personal use by employees. 4.
 
Repeatedly took KDFW equipment from the shop for personal use, including an air compressor, nail gun, nails, and an air hose, leaving employees without tools to do their jobs. 5.
 
Took two dozen 4x4 treated posts from the shop for personal use. 6.
 
Made a boat for personal use using KDFW materials and tools at the shop. 7.
 
Took a boat from the shop while removing his personal property. 8.
 
Asked a KDFW employee to perform free electrical work at GASSETT’s home
. 9.
 
Instructed a KDFW employee to purchase a piece of frosted glass for a wine cabinet he constructed at the shop for GASSETT.

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