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Sources said the agency’s chief operating officer and planning and finance director are gone.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
A critical state audit has resulted in a high-level shakeup at the agency that oversees hunting, fishing and boating.
In a brief statement Thursday, the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said its director, Bob Duncan, “found it necessary to make personnel changes in senior management.”
Duncan was “extremely disappointed” with the results of a recent audit by the state’s Auditor of Public Accounts and is “taking immediate actions to address and correct the audit points,” the statement said.
Duncan and agency spokesman Lee Walker declined to describe the shakeup.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Duncan said by telephone. “It’s a personnel matter.”
Sources with knowledge of the changes said Matt Koch, the department’s chief operating officer, and Thomas Gelozin, the agency’s planning and finance director, are no longer with the agency.
Koch and Gelozin could not be reached for comment.
Duncan and Walker declined to release the audit or talk about its contents. “It’s not our audit, it’s their audit” Walker said, referring to the office of the auditor of public accounts.
Walker and Martha Mavredes, the state auditor of public accounts, said the audit would be released to the public Monday.
Walker said the audit still needed to be reviewed by General Assembly officials and members of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration, among others.
McDonnell’s office also declined to comment. “Any matters relating to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries must be addressed by that agency,” said Taylor Keeney, a spokeswoman for McDonnell.
The department instituted procedures eight years ago to make it more accountable in spending public money in the aftermath of a scandal that led to the resignation of the chairman of its board of directors and the retirements of its executive director, who had been asked by the board to resign, and two high-ranking supervisors in 2005.
The scandal erupted over an African safari the four officials took in 2004. The board chairman paid the travel expenses, but the department officials used their state credit cards to buy equipment for the trip.
The executive director, William Woodfin , and the other two game officials were charged criminally by then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell, but charges against all three were dropped in court.
The department underwent another leadership change in 2007, when the game board fired Executive Director Carlton Courter for reasons that were unrelated to the safari.
The agency appears to have regained a lot of credibility with the public and continuity under Duncan, who became director in 2008.
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