Retired Pa. Game Commission chief to get $220K severance payment
HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to give its retired executive director $220,000, which a top lawyer to Gov. Tom Corbett calls an “improper severance agreement” that would drain resources from sportsmen's programs.
The payment to Carl Roe of Carlisle is awaiting approval by the state Attorney General's Office for “form and legality.”
Roe, who retired on Jan. 17, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office is seeking “clarity” on certain issues and awaits a response from the commission, said her spokesman Joe Peters. The office will have 30 days to decide, he said.
“It's unconscionable they would be using public dollars from sportsmen and hunters to pay a severance package to a former employee,” said Jay Pagni, a spokesman for Corbett.
Jarad W. Handelman, first executive deputy general counsel for Corbett, told Kane's office that he has “serious concerns about the legality” of the agreement.
Joseph Neville, director of information and education for the Game Commission, said he was unaware of the pending payment.
“We didn't address that at all” in the public announcement of Roe's retirement, he said.
In a letter to Adrian King, Kane's first deputy, Handelman asked the office to give the agreement “especially close scrutiny.”
“Sportsmen, conservationists and countless Pennsylvanians depend on responsible public officials to assure that all Game Fund dollars are spent only for legally proper purposes,” Handelman wrote.
Bob Schlemmer, the commission president, and Dave Putnam, the vice president, could not be reached.
The attorney general approved a version of an agreement between the Game Commission and Roe last year, according to Handelman's letter. But the comptroller flagged the proposed payment, Pagni said.
General Counsel James D. Schultz's office, where Handelman works, asked the commission to clarify the payment because it “appeared on its face to be a severance agreement” in violation of the state's administrative code.
The proposed agreement “was intended in part to settle potential claims that Roe might make” against his former agency, the commission told Schultz's office.
“We are skeptical that Roe, a strictly at-will employee of the (commission), has any claims he could credibly or legitimately make against (the commission),” Handelman wrote.
Handelman said his office was “convinced that the (commission) has agreed to pay Roe $220,000 as compensation to induce him to retire months earlier than he had intended and to agree to terms of confidentiality respecting his tenure with the (commission) and the circumstances of his severance.”
Because the Game Commission is an independent state agency, the governor's lawyers can only advise the comptroller on processing of the agreement, Handelman said.
Roe was hired by the agency as a long-term planner in 2001. Four years later, commissioners named him executive director.
He came to the Game Commission after 30 years in the Army, including two combat tours in Vietnam. He retired as a colonel, according to his biography on the state website.
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comcast cuts showings of anti-pigeon shooting commercial featuring Barker
- Police: Suspect Frein in Pa. trooper ambush ‘extremely dangerous’
- Manchin, Toomey to seek greater flexibility for veterans’ career counselors
- Police: Barracks ambush suspect sought mass murder
- Police: Drunk prowler stole only Altoona couple’s candy
- State police trooper shot dead outside northeastern Pa. barracks
- Pennsylvania medical marijuana supporters hold Capitol rally
- Lack of lethal injection drugs causes execution stay
- Penn State pulling Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms
- Savagery of ISIS stirs the grief of 9/11 for survivors
- ‘Racy’ emails could stay hidden under Pennsylvania open records law