The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says it will vigorously defend against the lawsuit filed yesterday by Sheffield Nelson, a former commission chairman, over the commission’s committee system. Nelson contends it unconstitutionally vests effective control of the agency in three members of the eight-member commission. From the news release:
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.
Based on what’s been written so far, I think I like the Commission’s chances. But that’s what courts are for.