COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sixteen of the 18 Ohio wildlife officers referred for illegal on-duty hunting by the state watchdog have been cleared by the state and returned to their jobs.
An Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman says the officers got their guns and trucks back Tuesday. All had been placed on administrative leave in December.
One officer, who was not immediately named, has been referred for discipline. Another has retired.
Spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle says an internal state review uncovered new evidence unavailable to Inspector General Randall Meyer. It showed the officers weren’t on duty when they hunted.
McCorkle says county wildlife officers work from home and Meyer’s comparison of deer harvest and payroll records failed to tell the whole story. New record-keeping protocols have been put in place to prevent future problems.