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Cougar-Killing Head of Dept. of Fish and Game Replaced, State Parks Audit Accelerated…and More

August 10th, 2012 by Taylor Walker

HEAD OF DEPT. OF FISH AND GAME LOSES JOB AFTER KILLING COUGAR

The Dept. of Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to replace the department’s current president, Dan Richards, seven months after he shot and killed a mountain lion on a hunting trip in Idaho.

KPCC’s Julie Small has the story. Here’s a clip:

California banned the practice decades ago, but Idaho and other states allow it. Richards has defended his actions as “legal” and proper.

But animal activists and dozens of state lawmakers said as head of the agency that enforces California’s wildlife laws Richards showed “poor judgment.”

Pictures of Richards crouched over his kill that circulated on the Internet didn’t help his case. He further incensed critics when he told KFI’s John and Ken Show the mountain lion tasted “like pork loin.”


NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MEETS TWO NEW COUGAR CUBS

Richard’s actions are a sharp contrast to last week’s happier news: two mountain lion cubs were found in the Santa Monica Mountains. They were tagged by the National Park Service and released near their den in Malibu. You can read more about the cubs on the NPS website here.


AUDIT ON CA DEPT. OF PARKS AND RECREATION TO BE SPED UP

Last month’s discovery of a hidden $54M surplus in the supposedly cash-strapped CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation caused CA officials to order an expedited audit of the department, Wednesday.

LA Times’ Chris Megerian and Christine Mai-Duc have the story. Here’s a clip:

The review, to be conducted by the state auditor, will examine a hidden $54-million surplus discovered in parks accounts last month and an unauthorized program allowing employees to trade in unused vacation time for more than $271,000 in cash.

“It’s a victory for transparency in state government,” said Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Rocklin), part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers who had pushed for the audit.

The parks money, which had been stashed away for at least a dozen years, was found as the state was soliciting donations to keep as many as 70 parks open amid a budget crisis. Some local governments that forked over money to keep parks open have demanded it back, and lawmakers are concerned that the accounting scandal will create a rift between the state and a community of parks supporters.


HOLLYWOOD INTERSECTION TO BE NAMED AFTER OFFICER IAN CAMPBELL

The intersection of Carlos and Gower in Hollywood will be officially renamed after fallen LAPD Officer Ian Campbell, 49 years after his tragic murder, which became the basis for Joseph Wambaugh’s novel The Onion Field and the subsequent movie.

Here’s a clip from the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s press release:

A dedication ceremony to unveil the sign will be held at Carlos Street and Gower Street in Hollywood at 1:30 p.m. [Friday]. The case known as “The Onion Field” remains one of the great tragedies in LAPD history. On Friday, Officer Ian Campbell will be formally honored, while we keep his partner, Karl Hettinger, in our thoughts.

[SNIP]

Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger were assigned to a detail from Hollywood station known as a felony car. On March 9, 1963, both officers were in plainclothes and driving an unmarked police car. Their task was to identify and apprehend persons involved in street felonies such as car burglaries and liquor store robberies. The officers stopped a car containing two ex-convicts, Gregory Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith. The suspects “got the drop” on the officers and held them at gunpoint. The suspects demanded the officers to surrender their revolvers and that was done.

The officers were then taken by gunpoint and forced to drive out of town. When the foursome reached southern Kern County, they proceeded off the road to the middle of field where onions were being grown. The two felons believed they had violated the “Lindbergh Law” and thought they would be facing the death penalty when captured. As such, when all four were out of the car, Powell shot Campbell in the face. His own weapon malfunctioned, so Powell used one of the officer’s own handguns to kill Campbell while he was lying defenseless on the ground.

[SNIP]

Ian Campbell was a bagpiper. Bagpipes were played at his funeral, and have been at the funerals for all LAPD officers killed in the line of duty since then. Out of this horrible murder was born a lasting LAPD tradition.


LA COUNTY DA HOPEFULS FACE OFF IN FIRST DEBATE

Tuesday night the two LA County district attorney candidates, Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson, squared off in their first debate. Thursday, Lacey announced that she had received the endorsement of Kamala Harris.

KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more on the debate.


First photo from Western Outdoor News. Cub photo credited to the National Park Service.

Posted in California budget, District Attorney, LAPD, LAPPL | 8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Cheap Advice Says:

    Unless one truly hunts for food, the killing of these beautiful animals for “sport” is sick.

  2. Coyote Waits Says:

    I disagree. The fees paid by the hunter support overall wildlife conservation and improve habitat. The cost of the hunt supports the local economy, so they don’t have to destroy wilderness to make a living. In fact, it gives them a reason to conserve and improve the resourse. You apparently do not get out much, because in the wild, it’s ALL kill or be killed. A deer, or a hiker, does not think that a lion is a beautiful animal when it claws up their back and clamps down on their neck. And I have seen numerous cases of animals (deer, newborn cattle, sheep, goats, and horses) that were attacked, killed, and then left to rot, because the cat was just killing then and moving on. Also, since the man ate the lion meat, I assume that you approve of this hunt by your statement.

  3. Cheap Advice Says:

    Coyote, I understand your statement and perhaps I could have worded it better. I am down for the balance of nature and your points are correct. I don’t mind capping a bad guy, but I just have a thing for animals (not the two legged type). I have buddies that hunt every year and eat the kill, no problem with that, but it is just not my thing. The get the permits, license, its all on the up and up. I guess the pic just suggested the kill was for sport and that I have a problem with. Just a personal thing, personal feeling I guess.

  4. Coyote Waits Says:

    Yep, I understand. To each his own. I hunt and eat game animals and try not to waste anything. I see predator animals as competition. I don’t bother them, and they generally don’t bother me. But just because I don’t hunt a particular species doesn’t mean I despise those who do. Although I have zero desire to do so, one elephant hunt in Zimbabwe will feed and economically support a village for over a month, and it usually is for an animal that is destroying local crops.
    The most exciting hunt, though, has to be for a criminal. They are fun to ID, track, and capture, and nothing beats the feeling of getting a victim’s property back or telling them the monster is caught. Too bad we have a catch and release program in place……

  5. Answering The Question Says:

    As bad of decision as it gets by the CA DFG.
    If you don’t think so, consider this. The guy did nothing illegal, and it was off the job. This guy is going to get rich off the lawsuit.

    No? Don’t think so?

    What if he went to a brothel in Nevada and partook of their services….and then got fired because the DFG was run/influenced by religious people?

    You cannot dictate what LEGAL activities your employees partake in off duty.

    Employees have constitutional rights. They don’t surrender them when they become an employee of the state of CA…even if they become the head of the DFG.

  6. Cantinflas Says:

    because in the wild, it’s ALL kill or be killed. …………

    Do the wild animals have hunting rifles?

  7. Answering The Question Says:

    lol..no.
    They just eat the sick, weak and young of the other animals.
    Nature is cruel. Even to the cuddly little animals we love so dearly.

  8. prophet mo teff Says:

    District attorney candidate Jacqueline Lacey stated that if elected to head the D.A.’s office she will instruct prosecutors to share all evidence and information with the defense which could have exculpatory value.

    In other words – candidate Lacey says that D.A. Lacey will run a zeo-tolerance for prosecutorial misconduct office.

    That should be a start in the right direction.

    There still remains the misconduct of the past 40 years.

    Will either candidate pledge to conduct a review of past prosecutions and then make persistent efforts to belatedly contact defendant and transmit any pertinent evidence?

    A comprehensive audit of past prosecutions towards rectifying misconduct might lead the county to the brink of bancrupcy, but that would be the best approach to root out the problem.

    There is definitely still a problem. The problem that some prosecutor’s can be easily drawn to the lure of gaining an illicit advantage through cheating.

    The appeal of cheating remains strong in our D.A.’s office.

    For example:

    the so-called secretly recorded jailhouse conversation between the 2 defendants charged with assaulting Bryan Stowe in the Dodger Stadium parking lot last year.

    How embarrassing for the rest of us that the prosecution has accepted into their basket that blatantly faked piece of trash.

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