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Friday, April 13, 2012

Dan Richards, Happy Cougar Hunter, Doesn't Have to Pay a Fine for His Kill

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 7:29 AM

click to enlarge Is a better hunter than he is a bureaucrat
  • Is a better hunter than he is a bureaucrat

Animal lovers and Dan Richards haters will be  unhappy when they hear the news that the state's Fish and Game chief who was busted hunting a mountain lion in Idaho earlier this year, dodged having to pay a fine for his killing excursion.

According to press reports, yesterday Richards received nothing more than a warning from California regulators, who decided against fining him over the mountain lion hunting trip he took earlier this year.

The Fair Political Practices Commission confirmed that Richards, a Republican from SoCal, violated the state's $420 gift limit when he accepted that $6,800 hunting trip in January from Flying B Ranch in Idaho. And although Richards repaid the ranch, he waited until after the required 30-day window for repayment. That means he could easily be slapped with a $5,000 fine, but wasn't.

Here's how the FPPC explains its decision.

Your actions violated the act because you received a gift over the limit. However, because you did repay the donor relatively soon after receipt of the gift, although after the 30-day window for repayment prescribed by the act, we have decided to close this case.
As readers probably recall, Richards, the president of the California Fish & Game Commission, was heavily criticized for his callous hunting trip he took to Idaho, where it's perfectly legal to hunt and kill mountain lions. There, Richards killed a nice-sized cougar and proudly posed in this photo next to his kill before allegedly devouring it for supper. The photo circulated the Internet, and got back to his home state of California, where it's illegal to hunt and kill cougars.

Animal activists denounced his hypocrisy, and pressured the cougar killer to resign from his post as Fish and Game chief. He not only refused, but then wrote a scathing letter to the state legislature, telling them that what he does in Idaho is none of their business. Of course, that raises the question ... what else did he do Idaho?

So Richards might have gotten away with it this time, but it might not be over yet. Last we heard, the state's unforgiving Democrats were still plotting ways to hunt Richards down, politically speaking.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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