Sandoval swears in cabinet officers

Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday took the unusual step of swearing in his cabinet members, including Ken Mayer as Wildlife Director, reappointed just a month after Gov. Jim Gibbons fired him.

Mayer served three years as wildlife director, a tenure marked by continually escalating battles with the Wildlife Commission.

Commissioners headed by Chairman Jerry Lent

finally convinced Gibbons to fire Mayer, who they saw as obstructing their goal of reducing or eliminating predators in the state to

protect wildlife resources

for hunters.

"I am pleased that Ken has agreed to return to the Department of Wildlife as acting director," said Sandoval. "His wealth of experience and knowledge makes him a strong voice for the wildlife community."

Mayer will be an acting director because the law gives the commission power to select three finalists for the position. The governor then chooses one of them.

But Mayer said it is highly improbable the commission that demanded he be fired would make him a finalist to return to the position.

The commission, he said, is dominated by Gibbons appointees who are members of Hunter's Alert, a group of activists who believe the main problem with declining herds of game species in Nevada is predation.

Mayer worked 27 years with the California Department of Fish and Game before coming to Nevada. He is a certified wildlife biologist and author of several books and some two dozen scientific papers.

Sandoval presented the 19 directors assembled in the Capitol Annex with his executive orders putting a moratorium on new or expanded regulations and his ethical code mandating they not take gifts of any kind that are intended to influence their judgment.

A total of 19 attended the meeting. The two cabinet members not at the meeting were Agriculture Director Tony Lesperance and Greg Cox, his new corrections director. Cox was unavailable. Sandoval has asked for Lesperance's resignation.


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