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Former ODNR Official, State Workers Cited For Taking Free Fishing Trip

from left to right: Gov. John Kasich; ODNR Director Jim Zehringer; and ODRC Director Gary Mohr announce inmate cabin building project at the Ohio State Fair
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Former ODNR director Jim Zehringer (center) was cited for taking an improperly taking a free Lake Erie fishing trip two years ago.

The former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and about 40 state employees improperly accepted a free Lake Erie fishing trip two years ago.

That's the finding of a report issued by the state inspector general’s office. James Zehringer, the former director, and the employees, some of whom claimed overtime pay, accepted the trip as part of what was billed “Fish Ashtabula Day.”

Some state lawmakers also attended, but their presence was deemed proper.

The office didn't make any criminal referrals concerning the investigation. But the state Ethics Commission told Zehringer and the employees to file amended financial disclosure statements.