* Remember Travis Loyd? He’s the former deputy director at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who was given the heave-ho after news outlets started calling about a months-long sick leave he took last year. Loyd participated in several fishing tournaments while on leave and even posted photos to his Facebook page.
DNR told me Monday that Loyd was on a “physician-approved” family medical leave. And Loyd says his doctor recommended that he go fishing. No joke…
Loyd said he took the time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. He insisted DNR officials, including director Marc Miller, knew full well where he was and what he was doing.
“For them to indicate that they didn’t know I was out at fishing tournaments, baloney!” Loyd said. “This was them knee-jerking. I did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Loyd’s doctor, Tricia Warner of Mount Vernon, said in an email to Loyd she did indeed recommend he attend fishing tournaments while on leave in order to reduce stress. She copied the BGA and NBC 5 on that email at Loyd’s request.
“We discussed hobbies and activities that might alleviate stress,” Warner wrote. “You mentioned fishing and being involved in fishing tournaments as very enjoyable and relaxing for you. I encouraged your participation in these activities.”
Loyd insists his superiors were given that information when they approved his leave.