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Old Jan 16th 2010, 08:45 AM   #1
  Apr 2009
Jim Strader sues Kentucky fish and wildlife agency; cancels annual outdoors expo

From staff and wire reports • January 6, 2010

A well-known outdoorsman and radio host says in a federal lawsuit the state's fish and wildlife department is retaliating against him over his criticisms of the agency.

Jim Strader says in the suit filed in Frankfort last month that his civil rights were violated, and the agency's commissioner defamed him in a newsletter and directed state employees to boycott his long-running annual hunting and fishing expo.

As a result of the lawsuit, Stader states on his Web site that he is canceling this year’s hunting and fishing expo, traditionally held in Louisville each February.

“I regret to inform you that I am unable to host my Hunting and Fishing Expo this year,” the Website states. “Due to my lawsuit involving litigation with Commissioner (Jonathan) Gassett and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, I am not free to discuss the reasons underlying my decision to cancel this years (sic) expo.”

The suit names the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and its commissioner, Jonathan Gassett. Department spokesman Mark Marraccini says the suit “has absolutely no merit.” He declined to comment further.

Strader said the agency is harassing journalists who “questioned the agency's policies or otherwise portrayed the agency in a less than purely flattering manner.”
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