Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reading Between the Lines in the Corey Rossi Criminal Investigaion

This story just broke.  I had heard something was coming down last month, but was asked to keep quiet:
Corey Rossi, the director of the Alaska Department of Wildlife Conservation, has resigned after he was charged Thursday with a dozen misdemeanor counts related to illegal bear kills allegedly made during hunts he guided in 2008.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesperson Nancy Long says Fish and Game Commission Cora Campbell accepted Rossi's resignation at 5 p.m. Thursday. Long said the incidents outlined in the charges happened before Rossi's employment with the state.

Alaska State Troopers say the charges against Rossi, 51, include one count of permit hunt report violations, three counts of making false statements on black bear sealing certificates, two counts of unsworn falsification, one count of illegal possession of an illegally taken bear, and five counts of unlawful acts by an assistant big game guide.
From what I know, there is probably going to be more hanging over Rossi than a dozen misdemeanors.  For one thing, how often does this happen in misdemeanor charges:
Troopers made it clear they did not act on their own.

"Charges were filed by the Department of Law, Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, following an investigation by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Wildlife Investigations Unit after learning of the offenses through an unrelated out-of-state operation conducted by another agency," the trooper statement said.
 The Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals is the main source of attorneys and investigators in the realm of white collar crime.  They don't normally do misdemeanors  Or a dozen of them.

Here's part of the scam I think they're going to go after Rossi on, perhaps holding it over him, to get at people involved in kickbacks:
Rossi has also been active with the organization Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a somewhat controversial hunter advocacy group. Guide Aaron Bloomquist, who has a business relationship with Rossi, was recently handed coveted, special permits from the wildlife division for bison, Dall sheep and musk ox. He is to take the permits to the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake in February where they are to be auctioned to raise funds for the organization.

While this has been going on, Rossi has been lobbying to try to expand the wildlife director's authority over those permits to gain the power to change state hunting rules. Some in the department say he appears to wish to make it possible for the people who pay thousands for such permits, sometimes as much as $100,000, to obtain easy access to their hunts by means of helicopters.
If I write more, I might get whacked.  But this line in Craig Medred's Dispatch article on the bust is surely the understatement of the day:
The charges against Rossi were expected to send a shock wave through the state's hunting community and make him even more controversial.


Anonymous said...

Just one more example of BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALISM interfering with Alaskans living the Alaskan life style (of the late 1800's) without the need to sweat, courtesy of every form of mechanical transportation dear to the heart of big game hunters and big business.

Rossi has the right idea, putting an end to public ownership of wildlife and letting entrepreneurs sell moose and caribou to the highest bidders. Capitalism at its best and more campaign contributions to politicians.

Commercial big game guiding is just a baby step in privatization. Why not divide Alaska into a few dozen corporate game ranches and let them own and manage our wildlife? No more cost to taxpayers. Wolves and bears would become their private property and could be retained or killed without concern for how and bleeding lung liberal environmentalists feel on the matter.


No more Alaskan life style for anyone except millionaires who like pretending to be mountain men.

No more moose steaks or caribou sausage on my table.

Uh oh.

Before Rossi and his ilk took control of ADF&G, we had one of the world's best wildlife management programs, based on solid science. Wolves and bears were "controlled" only where this could reliably help ungulate populations; and then the wolf and bear populations were allowed to recover.

The kind of predator that really needs to "intensive management" walks on two legs, not four, and tries to consume everything it can grasp with its sticky palms. Hopefully Rossi will be just one among many going down.

Steven Laughing Bear

Anonymous said...

I wonder if some aspect of this had anything to do with the former Attorney General deciding to resign? What was it he said he had to do? Hurry home and work on his garage door and spend time with his family...He did know didn't he?

Lots of interesting things this could lead to if properly investigated. Who knows?