December 13, 2013

From TheRepublic.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Eighteen more state wildlife officers are being referred for possible criminal prosecution after a follow-up investigation into illegal hunting while on duty uncovered additional cases, the state watchdog said.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it immediately would place 17 officers on administrative duty and remove their law enforcement powers pending an internal investigation. The 18th officer, a supervisor, has retired.

Inspector General Randall Meyer found in comparing deer harvest and payroll records that the officers had hunted while on duty or were off duty at the time their deer harvests were recorded and therefore falsified payroll records to collect pay for hours not worked.

Meyer launched the probe after an earlier investigation resulted in the convictions of two Brown County officers. He said he suspected it was more than an isolated incident.

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