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AGFC plans vigorous defense for former Commissioner's lawsuit

Date09/03/2010
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LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been sued in Pulaski County Circuit Court by a former commissioner.

Sheffield Nelson, who served on the Commission from 2000-07, filed the lawsuit Sept. 2. The lawsuit seeks a declaration from the court that current and past Commission decisions are invalid for failing to follow the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act.

Commission Chairman Craig Campbell expressed regret that a former commissioner would take such drastic action, and reaffirmed that all current commissioners are “unanimous in our dedication to the principles of integrity, accountability and transparency. We are unified in our belief that the AGFC’s long-established rules of procedure, which we recently amended for the proper conduct of Commission business, ensure that these principles are strictly and consistently applied.”

Campbell also said, “Mr. Nelson’s claims of illegal actions by Commissions dating back as far as 1979, which include actions Mr. Nelson himself presided over as a commissioner, and ultimately as Commission chairman, are mistaken and apparently based on misinformation. His lawsuit certainly is not in the best interest of this Commission, its employees or the citizens of Arkansas.”

The Commission has not been officially served with the complaint, although Commission attorneys are preparing a response to the complaint and will be vigorously defending the agency in court action.