Ethics Complaint Filed Over Mtn. Lion Kill

Daniel W. Richards calls his critics "environmental terrorists."


The president of California's Fish and Game Commission is facing an ethics complaint after coming under fire for killing a mountain lion in Idaho.

The complaint filed Thursday with the Fair Political Practices Commission alleges that Dan Richards illegally accepted a $6,800 gift from the Flying B Ranch in Idaho. The complaint says he didn't pay the full fee charged to other guests who go on guided lion hunts.

Under state law, officials can't accept gifts of more than $420 a year.

The ethics complaint is the latest salvo against Richards after a photo surfaced of him holding the dead animal.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and 40 Democratic Assembly members have joined animal rights groups in calling for his resignation.

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The head of the California Fish and Game Commission fired back at his critics Thursday for calling for his head after he killed a mountain lion during a recent hunting trip.

The commission's President Daniel W. Richards called his critics, including former San Francisco mayor and current lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom, "environmental terrorists" during an appearance on a Los Angeles radio show.

People such as Newsom have recently called for Richards to step down after a picture of him surfaced with a dead mountain lion on a hunting website.

Hunting mountain lions is illegal in California, where Richards resides, but he killed the animal in Idaho, where it is still legal.

Richards said part of Newsom's motivation for calling for his ouster was to get his father to take over his job.

Those claims did not sit well with Newsom.

"It’s shameful that Mr. Richards has compounded his problems by lying," Chris Garland, Newsom's chief of staff, told The Los Angeles Times. "If he were smart, he’d stop shooting himself in the foot, do the right thing and resign."

But Richards appears to have no intention of doing that. He justified his actions by telling the radio show that he ate the cat meat after slaying the animal.

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