by Tom Ellis
As many readers know, Ward Stone, NYS DEC wildlife pathologist since 1969, has had numerous conflicts over the years with DEC higher-ups, most concerning Ward’s determination to learn the facts about how pollutants impact wildlife, and then reporting what he has learned. The latest of these battles is now in progress. This assault likely resulted from his taking and analyzing numerous soil samples downwind of the mercury spewing LaFarge cement factory in Ravena.
During May the Albany Times Union printed an article with allegations Ward has violated NYS rules and regulations such as sometimes sleeping in his office at night or using his state-supplied auto for personal uses, and for sometimes mistreating his staff.
A second article in June alleged that Ward had screwed up the state’s investigation into the West Nile virus eleven years ago and thus delayed the state responding correctly to the problem. Ward insisted his science was correct. A lengthy and detailed article by Chet Hardin in the July 22-28 Metroland thoroughly reviewed and refuted the allegations contained in the second Times Union article.
However the largely petty charges made in the first article, some of which are undoubtedly true, are now the subject of a review by the state’s inspector general. Ward, who is 71 years old, and who handles pressure better than most people, faces the most severe threat to his career yet; there is talk he may be suspended without pay, fined thousands of dollars, or he may lose his well-deserved future pension.
Please contact state legislators and ask them to speak up in support of Ward and the great work he has done over many years protecting the environment of New York State. Also contact DEC Commisioner Pete Grannis and tell him to let Ward Stone do the job we pay him to do.
See related article and announcements on what we can do to help Ward Stone.
Published in August/September Newsletter 2010