Cal. Fish & Wildlife officer fired for supporting Ted Nugent

A veteran patrol officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife lost his job because he wrote a letter of support for hunting and gun-rights activist Ted Nugent.

Cpt. Robert D. Simpson, who spent nearly 20 unblemished years with the agency, was fired in 2013 and lost his appeal for reinstatement several months ago. He was released for using official stationery to write a letter of support for the famed rock musician, who was facing federal hunting violations, ABC 30 Action News reported.

“Ted Nugent is a polarizing figure…and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife seems to be very much against him,” said legal analyst Jeff Hammerschmidt.

Nugent, accused of breaking deer-hunting laws in 2010, had reproached the agency on his TV show, explaining “I did so because of a manipulation and an unjust, let’s call it, entrapment,” he told ABC News. He then got in trouble in Alaska, for illegally hunting a bear.

That’s when Simpson wrote his letter and one year later, was fired.

The Wildlife Department refused comment to the ABC News reporter, but Hammerschmidt offered that most employers do not fire an employee for their first infraction unless it’s really serious, like workplace violence.

“But,” he noted, “it would be interesting to know if other employees who committed similar conduct were terminated when it involved someone other than someone famous.”

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Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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