Council members dispute director hiring

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ST. PAUL — Members of a Minnesota outdoors council that advises the Legislature are protesting the hiring process for their new director.

Three of 12 Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council members walked out of a meeting Tuesday at the Capitol. They and a fourth member said they won’t participate in the process to replace executive director Bill Becker after they were presented with two finalists out of 35 applicants.

Becker is retiring after leading the council since its start in 2009. It recommends how the Legislature should spend $100 million annually on wildlife habitat.

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The protesting members say they should interview at least five candidates. A panel of five council members had narrowed the field.

The nine remaining members voted to interview the two finalists and a third candidate.