Nevada Wildlife Commissioner Resigns Under Investigation

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A member of the Nevada Commission of Wildlife who represents sportsmen has resigned amid an investigation into allegations he committed undisclosed wildlife violations, The Associated Press has learned.

Bradley Quilici, of Lovelock, resigned earlier this month from the statewide commission that establishes wildlife management policies and regulations.

"I have resigned and it's for personal and family reasons and we'll leave it at that," Quilici told the AP in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"I'm sure the rumors are going to fly, and that's fine," Quilici said when asked whether he was under investigation.

But others in wildlife management said Quilici is being investigated by law enforcement agents with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Mike Riordan, a commissioner from Jiggs who represents ranching interests, said he was aware of an investigation, though he did not know the nature of it.

"Brad's been a very dedicated commissioner," Riordan said. "He takes it very seriously and has done a good job for the rural people he represents."

Commissioner John T. Moran Jr., a lawyer and general public representative on the commission, referred questions to Department of Wildlife Director Terry Crawforth, who Moran indicated "has been monitoring the situation."

Crawforth declined to comment Wednesday.

"It's our policy not to comment about our investigations," Crawforth said.

Spokeswoman Kelly Clark said the Department of Wildlife became aware of Quilici's resignation late last week, but she refused to comment about any investigation.

"We cannot comment on any law enforcement investigation," she said. "We can't confirm or deny that.

"We're just trying to be as careful of what our state rules are as we can possibly be," she added.

Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Quilici as a sportsmen representative to the nine-member board in November 1999.

The governor's office categorized his resignation as a personnel matter.

Guinn spokesman Greg Bortolin said Quilici tendered his resignation in person. He said the governor would have no comment and declined to say whether Guinn asked for Quilici's resignation.

The governor's office provided a copy of a three-sentence letter that was sent to Quilici on May 5 and signed by Keith Munro, Guinn's deputy chief of staff and general counsel.

"On behalf of Gov. Kenny Guinn, I am accepting your resignation from the Wildlife Commission," Munro wrote.

"We want to thank you for your service to the state of Nevada. Your willingness to serve was greatly appreciated."

Quilici's term expires in June 2005. Bortolin said Guinn would appoint someone to serve out the term.

It's not the first time Quilici has run afoul of wildlife rules.

Two months after he was appointed to the commission, it was learned that Quilici was cited by a game warden in 1982 for trapping violations. He was found guilty of five misdemeanor violations and ordered to pay $100 apiece in fines.

Four violations involved leaving trap bait exposed, which is prohibited to protect eagles and other raptors from becoming trapped. The fifth was for failing to visit and check his trap line in the American Canyon area of Pershing County.

The revelation caught Guinn's administration off guard. Then Chief of Staff Scott Scherer said the governor's office had been told that Quilici had only one minor wildlife violation before he was appointed.

Quilici remained on the board after the governor's office said the infractions occurred nearly two decades earlier and weren't serious enough to warrant his removal.