Thursday, November 17, 2005

'Very Nervous' Hunters

Once again, the Pensacola News Journal is giving front-page treatment to the story we are sorely tempted to call Antlers-gate, or maybe Bambi-gate. Today, crack reporter Brett Norman is mining affidavits "filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Wisconsin."
The affidavits, in support of warrants to search two hunting properties used by [hutning guide] Lawinger and one of his e-mail accounts, report multiple instances of unlicensed hunting, baited deer fields and hunting during closed seasons.

Several of those charged locally are named in the statements.
Norman seems to be looking for anything that would explain why some Pensacola bigwigs are alleged to have violated Wisconsin hunting laws and others aren't -- notably, Escambia County administrator George Touart. Norman explains:
Since the charges were filed last week, questions have surfaced about why Touart is the only member of his party who was not charged in the February hunt, even though he was the only one to kill a deer and return it to Pensacola.

His fate remained unknown Wednesday as officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison, Wis., continued refusing to say whether more charges are pending.
Given the facts reported so far, there would seem to be only three possible explanations. One is that Touart is about to be charged with a federal crime. The second is that he isn't. And the third is he has turned state's evidence and agreed to testify against his fellow hunters from Pensacola.

"I'm sure George is very nervous," the reporter quotes county commissioner Mike Whitehead as saying. "I would be."

He might be, indeed.

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