Saturday, May 25, 2013
Sen. Murkowski’s Former Aide Admits To Violating Federal Fishing Laws
Senator says she did not know he pleaded guilty before he resigned
Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s former federal fisheries aide, Arne Fuglvog, has admitted to violating the Lacey Act, when he lied about how much sablefish he had caught and where he had caught the fish.
Fuglvog now faces jail time.
Fuglvog signed the plea agreement in April, but didn’t resign from Murkowski’s office until Sunday, a day before the federal court records were made public.
According to a Murkowski spokesperson, neither the senator nor her staff knew about Fuglvog’s guilty plea, and says they all found out about it on Monday, when everyone else in Alaska had found out.
According to the plea agreement, Fuglvog had a permit in 2005 to catch about 30,000 pounds of sablefish from the western Yakutat area in the southwest region of Alaska, but he actually caught 63,000 pounds in a different area and then falsified his fishing records.
The extra fish netted him about $100,000 in commercial fish sales.
Fuglvog also admitted to falsifying fish reports on several occasions between 2001 and 2005.
Fuglvog will be arraigned Tuesday in Anchorage federal court.
If a judge accepts Fuglvog’s plea agreement, he will serve 10 months behind bars, pay a $50,000 fine and donate $100,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Murkowski emailed a statement on Wednesday:
“Prior to joining my staff, Arne Fuglvog violated a fishing regulation by misstating the location where he caught sablefish. Arne has cooperated fully with the authorities, taken responsibility for his actions, and accepted the consequences."