Parnell defends not placing wildlife official on leave

Governor Sean Parnell on Thursday made his first public comment on the resignation of controversial state wildlife official Corey Rossi.

Parnell said he agreed with Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell’s decision to keep Rossi on the job, even after she learned that he was questioned as part of a criminal investigation.

“Each case is going to be different in who knew what, when, and all that. So, my view is that when a person is charged with a crime that directly relates to their job, they need to be removed. Anything short of that is dependent on a case by case basis,” Parnell said at a press availability in Juneau.

Rossi was charged last week with 12 misdemeanor counts related to an illegal black bear hunt that took place in June 2008. Prosecutors say he lied on state hunting reports to cover up who shot three of the four bears killed in the hunt.

Parnell and Commissioner Campbell say they knew that Rossi was to be interviewed, but did not know the nature of the investigation until after the charges became public.

Rossi was director of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation. His lack of qualifications and advocacy of controversial predator control policies made him a divisive figure within the Department of Fish and Game.

Recent headlines

  • Police form a line near Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, amid Unite the Right protesters and counterprotesters on Aug. 12, 2017.

    Can police prevent the next Charlottesville?

    "We saw it coming,” said a Virginia officer, but they couldn’t stop it. Still, law enforcement experts say measures can be taken — even when protesters are armed.
  • An Alaska Airlines plane at Juneau International Airport.

    Alaska Airlines pilots plan picket over lack of compensation

    Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
  • Obadiah Jenkins tries to help Daniel Hartung pull himself from Six-Mile Creek in Hope. (Photo courtesy James Bennett)

    Homer resident saves kayaker’s life on Six-Mile Creek

    Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
  • Vigor Alaska Shipyard Development director Doug Ward talks with Marine Transportation advisory board member Greg Wakefield inside the not-quite-finished Alaska Class ferry Tazlina. (Photo by Leila Kheiry/KRBD)

    Alaska class ferry Tazlina on track at Ketchikan shipyard

    The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.