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Arizona Game & Fish commissioner pleads not guilty to poaching

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — A state Game and Fish commissioner says he was surprised to receive a citation after he reported the shooting of a prairie dog out of season.

Jack Husted tells The Associated Press that he was unaware of a hunting season for Gunnison prairie dogs when he took a friend’s 13-year-old son out shooting in Springerville in April and let him kill the animal.

Husted says he learned days later at a commission meeting that the hunting season had ended March 31. He then reported the shooting and believed he would be disciplined.

He received a citation instead and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor Tuesday.

State Game and Fish Department spokesman Jim Paxon called Husted’s action exemplary but says it doesn’t erase the violation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. Let me make sure I have this straight … Jack Husted, Game & Fish Commissioner, twice over, reserve game officer for twenty years, and who voted – as Commissioner voted twice for this regulation, wants to be held to a different standard of conduct than he has proscribed, and enforced, for the rank and file citizenry of Arizona these last twenty years?

    Really, Mr. Husted?

    Because you turned yourself in you deserve different treatment than the average citizen?

    Seems to me – as a former and retired wildlife officer myself – that you, in fact should be held to a HIGHER standard than the average citizen. Especially as one who not only voted for this regulation twice, but is charged with knowing the wildlife laws and regulations of the state of Arizona.

    Seems to me you’re playing the “special treatment” card, sir … and as one who did play fairly with the public for twenty years, I like it not at all. There is no provision in AZ Law for giving warnings for wildlife violations – the wording reads ” … shall issue a citation …” not “may” or “depending on who it is, might …”

    I’m fairly confident that your local Justice of the Peace will probably give you a suspended sentence or the county prosecutor will move for delayed prosecution [NB: no similar violations for one year and the charge just goes away ...] based on WHO YOU ARE.

    But, as I remember you … and I do – you never gave anyone a warning when you could write paper.

    Be ashamed, sir. Be ashamed.

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