The Idaho Department of Fish and Game distanced itself Monday from own of its employees who said sportsman would beat Congressman Raul Labrador’s “ass” over a public lands bill.
Department Communication Manager Michael Keckler told IdahoReporter.com Monday that it has counseled IDFG staffer Roger Phillips about his social media use.
“Since this came to our attention, the employee has been counseled,” Keckler wrote in an email. “He understands that as a spokesman for Idaho Fish and Game, that sort of public communication, even on his own Twitter account, still potentially reflects on Fish and Game and is therefore unacceptable.”
Phillips is a former Idaho Statesman columnist who now works in the Fish and Game’s communications shop. Last Friday morning he tweeted his displeasure with Labrador, Idaho’s three-term Republican congressman:
“Bring it on @Raul_Labrador Sportsmen and women are going to beat your ass, too. Keep #publiclands open to the public and managed for all.”
The tweet, which IdahoReporter.com first noticed Friday, has since been deleted.
Keckler stressed that Phillips was not speaking for the state agency.
“The employee was speaking only for himself, not Idaho Fish and Game,” Keckler added. “Fish and Game does not condone what was said or the use of profanity.”
Phillips echoed Keckler and promised to be more sensitive moving forward.
“Things I put on twitter through my personal account represent myself and not Idaho Fish and Game,” he wrote in an email. “I apologize if this caused some confusion. With only 140 characters, it’s difficult to add this disclaimer, but I will be more careful in the future to avoid any confusion.”
Dan Popkey, Labrador’s communication director, did not return a request for comment.
Phillips’ tweet came a day after the U.S House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands deliberated Labrador’s bill that would allow states to manage up to 2 percent of federally-owned forests within their borders.
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