Here are some of the excerpts of the ADFG summer 2011 communications, where Bill Thomas attempted to bully, cajole and intimidate ADFG in-season management. This was an obvious conflict of interest.
Last Friday, Mr. Thomas lied to the UFA board of directors in Anchorage and stated that he did not call the ADFG staff to complain or to curtail the seine management in Chatham Strait.' Remember that approximately 20% of the SE purse seine fleet are SEALASKA shareholders so this is not a native issue but rather a personal business issue with Mr. Thomas. If anything, it is an attack on a fishery with the most financial interest by native Alaskans than any other salmon fishery.
These internal ADFG documents were obtained by the Lynn Canal Gillnetters Association in an Alaska Public Records Search (sort of like a Freedom of Information search). Notably especially is that Bill Thomas interrupted and interfered with northern SE seine management of his own constituents. 34 permits resided in Thomas's old district. Over 75 permits reside in his new district and 40% of the seine caught salmon are processed in his new district. SEAS obtained these documents due to the accumulation of documents sought by the Lynn Canal Gillnetters. SEAS did not initiate this search. We only asked for what was given to the Lynn Canal Gillnetters.
The documents are damning evidence that not only did Bill Thomas lie to the UFA board about not intervening in the in-season management but that his office staff sent several memos and used his official office in Haines for doing some of the dirty work. Thomas contacted ADFG personnel on at least a dozen occasions during July and August, holding out pork projects like fall chum research funding and reminding the department that he had control of their budget.
It is very obvious that Bill Thomas the gillnetter was using the color of his office as Co-Chair of House Finance of the Alaska State Legislature to influence the seine fishery in a negative fashion soasto benefit his personal $350,000 gillnet operation in an allocative fashion.
It's difficult to download and transfer the documents from there to here. The SEAS board and a larger councilliary group has the Alaska Public Records Search Documents in their entirety. As a SEAS member, if you would like a copy, the office will be more than happy to send you copies next week when we get back to the office.
Here is a quote from one of the managers to the rest of the SE management team on August 18th, after many emails from Thomas' Haines office staff and Thomas phone calls associating budget control with seine management. On one occasion, Kevin Monagle had to take time off of managing the #1 alltime record 2011 season in order to come into the office on his one day off in nearly the entire summer to respond to Mr. Thomas to justify the seine fishery taking place.
I have to say that the seine/gillnet concerns expressed by Rep. Thomas have reached a new level of furor.
Here are some more of the excerpts:
July 7- Not surprising, Bill Thomas expressed his dissatisfaction with the Hawk Inlet opening.
4 emails from Jesse Badger of Thomas' Haines office to complain of ADFG management.
Calls from Bill Thomas requesting in-season date on August 11, 12 and 15.
Just had another call from Mr. Thomas, worst I've ever seen the seine v gillnet issue, August 18
7-7-12 Rep Thomas is upset over the decision to open seine fisheries in Upper Chatham
Rep Thomas wants to talk with the Division director and anyone else who will listen
Did Bill Thomas abuse his color of office last summer or not?