State ethics board clears Kretz in wolf research complaint

Thomas Costigan
Special to the S-E

Seventh District Rep. Joel Kretz feels vindicated after the Legislative Ethics Board ruled that he did not violate any ethics rules in voicing his opposition to a Washington State University wolf expert.

The charge stemmed from Kretz’ criticism of WSU Professor Dr. Robert Wielgus’ research over the years. Among Wielgus’ claims were that a rancher intentionally placed cattle on top of a wolf den site in Northeast Washington, leading to wolf kills.

Wielgus is director of WSU’s Large Carnivore Conservation Laboratory.

"Unfortunately, I have never been involved in a more controversial issue, evoking strong emotions on many sides. After the professor issued untrue statements about my constituent, it provoked such controversy that WSU investigated and later retracted them as untrue, with no basis in fact,” explained in a written statement released on Saturday.  “Even so, my constituent continued to receive death threats that were taken as serious and credible by federal and local law enforcement.”

Catch the full story online here or in the May 23, 2018 S-E.
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