Saturday, 28 February 1998 17:00

EDITORIAL

Written by Hunters Alert
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When the weak link is at the top, nothing works right below. This is particularly true of two state agencies, those being the Division of Wildlife and Attorney General's Office. In our lead story we told you how a good NDOW employee, Barton Tanner, was set up by his fellow employees, wardens Dennis Roden and Frank Chaves. The director of the Conservation and Natural Resources Department is Pete Morros. He was quoted in the Elko Daily Free Press as saying, "Roden and Chaves marked the fox three days before the season." Nothing could be further from the truth. In court documents, it is clearly stated that the fox was reported to be in the trap on December 18. Opening day of fox season is December 19. Warden Roden marked the fox on December 19. That is not three days but one day. When the head of a state agency doesn't know the facts how can the Division of Wildlife make informed judgments on this or any other case? With his statement, Mr. Morros proves the weak link is at the top.

The attorney general (AG) is the chief law officer and legal advisor of the state. In our state, protecting wayward state employees and selective prosecution of other state employees seems to be high on the AG's list of job functions. Here are a few examples of how the AG's office operates.

you think this would be the job of a biologist? This was nothing more than a hunting trip which was disguised so it could be written off on a state expense account. In other words, Willie and the boys wanted the sportsmen to pay for their hunting trip. The Nevada Hunters Association discovered this and asked the AG's office for an investigation. The AG's office said everything was okay. However they refused to disclose publicly Willie Molini's expense account for that trip.

In June, 1993 NDOW was mailing a private organization's newsletter and had been doing it for years. To perform this function, they were using state employees, state equipment and state money (postage). The ruling in this case by the attorney general was that there was no criminal intent. Therefore, nothing could be done. In these two cases, Frankie Sue Del Papa, the attorney general, refused to prosecute on what should have been criminal charges.

The definition of extortion is, "A crime of using one's official position to obtain money unlawfully." Let's see if that definition fits into another NDOW case. In January 1993 the Independence Mining

Company (IMC) wanted to do some gold mining activities in Elko County. In order to obtain approval for this operation, IMC had to give NDOW 5500,000.00. The Elko County Grand Jury brought charges against Willie and the boys for their outrageous demands. The Elko County Grand Jury concluded "the facts clearly establish that employees of NDOW deliberately and maliciously withheld and delayed issuance of permits to which IMC was entitled in order to force IMC to pay sums of money for habitat development." It appears that Willie Molini and three other NDOW employees did everything but hold a gun to IMC for money. Perhaps NDOW is so desperate for money because of years of their mismanagement.

And what is attorney general Frankie Sue Del Papa going to do to these four NDOW employees? She said she will appeal a lower court decision denying a motion to clear the records of the four NDOW officials accused of wrongdoing by the Elko County Grand Jury. Amazing that she will stick up for certain NDOW employees charged with wrongdoing while she turns her back on

EDITORIAL

other NDOW employees.

We told you how NDOW set up one of their own employees (Barton Tanner) and the attorney general's office prosecuted him. Mark Ghan, head of the Nevada attorney general's litigation department, had this to say about Barton Tanner's trial. "We felt we had to submit the charges because if we didn't recommend prosecution against one of our own employees, then who could you prosecute?" Well, Mr. Ghan, how about prosecuting honestly and without the abuse of process? Court documents state that Roden lied in a criminal complaint to make it appear as if Tanner did intend to violate the law. In essence, Roden committed perjury to prosecute Tanner. Should Roden continue to keep his job and be allowed to continue this abuse? NDOW chose to make a criminal out of Tanner when all he did was tell the truth. HUNTER'S ALERT has a question for you, Mr. Ghan. You vigorously prosecuted a truthful NDOW employee on a setup misdemeanor charge. If court records prove that Dennis Roden perjured himself, are you going to pursue this matter even more vigorously because perjury is a felony which is a more serious charge? Somehow HUNTER'S ALERT believes this is not going to happen as NDOW's current management style is to prosecute the person who tells the truth and protect the person who lies. And finally, Mr. Ghan, how much more sportsmen's money will be spent to continue this type of justice brought about by NDOW's gestapo tactics?

Last modified on Thursday, 06 May 2010 15:40
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