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*** UPDATED x1 *** Unanswered questions about DNR resignation

Monday, Feb 10, 2014

* From Fox 32

A deputy director at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources resigned Thursday just hours after FOX 32 confronted DNR officials with evidence that he needed a gone fishin’ sign on his door last summer, while he was claiming to be sick. […]

Last year, according to the Illinois comptroller’s office, he earned $92,809.04 in his full-time job as Deputy Director for the Department of Natural Resources.

So, how did he manage to squeeze in four-day fishing tournaments in Florida, Alabama Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Michigan and still handle his state job?

Using the Freedom of Information Act, FOX 32 obtained Loyd’s time sheets. They show that between May 1 and mid-August last summer, about three and half months, the deputy director put in just seven and half hours working for the state.

He took 12 and a half vacation days in May, no problem there, but then claimed he was on sick leave for 44 consecutive days, not including weekends.

According to the WALMART FLW fishing tournament website, on five specific days when Loyd was using sick leave he was fishing for dollars in those tournaments.

Loyd had accumulated his unused sick days during his four years with the DNR, but state regulations say, “sick leave may be used for illness, disability, or injury of the employee, appointments with the doctor, dentist or other professional medical practitioner.”

There’s no mention of going fishing.

He was a deputy director. So, how did the DNR director not know about this? It just seems awful weird that a top official would essentially disappear for months and nobody bothers to wonder why.

*** UPDATE *** A DNR spokesman says Loyd was on a “physician-approved” family medical leave.

Still, the guy is posting pics all over his Facebook page and nobody at the office notices?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Anon. - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    You mean “mental health days” don’t count?


  2. - Just Observing - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    === He was a deputy director. So, how did the DNR director not know about this? It just seems awful weird that a top official would essentially disappear for months and nobody bothers to wonder why. ===

    Agreed. Maybe he told DNR he had some major health concern he was addressing, and they never bothered to seek proof.


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Now can I post my questions ?
    Several questions. Why is there still a paper timesheet for 2013-14. Did he have a doctors statement for all those sick days ? Who was his timekeeper ? Who signed his timesheets ? Who were all his sponsors for those tournaments. Were the sponsors paying him ? How much extra revenue did he make ? Did he file a statement of economic interest ? Did he file for secondary employeement ?Was all this revenue declared on his tax statements. What gifts was he given on these tournaments ? Were the gifts declared ? What was the value of the gifts ?
    Why is he not being prosecuted ? Isn’t this stealing ?


  4. - Hans Sanity - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    I’ll bet he was off site verifying the feasibility of IDNR performing fracking compliance inspections with the newly proposed state regs.


  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    You have to file a doctors statement if you are out more than 3 days.


  6. - I'm Strapped - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Looks like the ‘Supervision’ needs a little scrutiny. (Mr DD you have enemies at the gate)


  7. - Liandro - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Well, in Dixon we had a top person leave for long periods of time every year and nobody really dug too deep. Of course that turned out to be…problematic.


  8. - Sir Reel - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Travis Lloyd was yet another Governor appointee who was (1) unqualified, (2) in over his head, and (3) never around anyway.

    He is a professional fisherman who somehow connected with Quinn and got a plum job. Appears he didn’t understand that he had to give up his job to work at DNR.

    Like several current and recent appointed positions at DNR, he lives far from Springfield, in southern Illinois, and commuted to his job, wasting 2 days traveling per week.

    DNR is better off without him. Unfortunately, another like him will probably take his place.


  9. - Past the Rule of 85 - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    To paraphrase Led Zeppelin… The names have changed, but the song remains the same. Appointed deputy directors have often thought the rules didn’t apply to them. This guy needs to be prosecuted for theft of services.


  10. - vole - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    $50,000,000.00 for the World Sports Shooting Complex
    $92,000.00 for the Walmart Bass Tour
    By golly the DNR is gonna bring prosperity to S. IL through hell or high water.


  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’ve often felt there was something therapeutic about competitive bass fishing.


  12. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Could Deputy Director Loyd spent some time promoting angling in Illinois? I wonder if he owns a “Bass-o-matic” of his very own?


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    What is sad is how everyone left at IDNR are going to have to spend time documenting where they are every fifteen minutes now that this guy is gone.


  14. - Tequila Mockingbird - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Did he take his Big Mouth talking bass thing off his office wall when he left?


  15. - Almost the Weekend - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think the real question is, did he resign to take a different government job or become a full time fisherman?


  16. - beaten down - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Deputy Directors are a dime a dozen in Illinois. Most of us peons use the term political hack or ghost employee for those in our area. You hardly see them or know what they do. I would like to see all of them investigated to see what they do or are supposed to do. The State could use the money.


  17. - Sally - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    The question is who is Lloyd’s supervisor? It is my understanding it is Director Marc Miller.

    Several months ago, in an OEIG report, a supervisor was held responsible for and was punished for failure to properly supervise employees who abused time. Will supervisor be held responsible in tis instance?


  18. - Cassandra - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    I wonder who was doing his work for him while he was out fishing. Or was there really any work for him to do. Time for a job audit of “deputy director” jobs in DNR? Will he be replaced?


  19. - Westward - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    No one has yet touched on the obvious: can you envision the great commercials in the fall directed at PQ, complete with the talking bass as the narrator. Man, this is gonna be priceless.

    There has to be some accountability for this stuff.


  20. - NW Illinois Dem - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    If Gov Quinn does not fire DNR Director Miller by 5 p.m. today then the issue becomes another issue for the GOP. The buck stops at the Governor’s desk on this one.


  21. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    He had a fever, a fever that could only be cured by more Bass Fishing…

    or

    He was promoting an Illinois made product… The Bass-o-Matic

    Wow, that’s terrific bass…


  22. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    A DNR spokesman says Loyd was on a “physician-approved” family medical leave.

    So was he paid for the family medical leave days?


  23. - flea - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Director Miller is one of Quinn’s favorite pets. If Miller didn’t know about this then he is asleep at the wheel and ought to be held accountable for the lack of oversight. Where’s the OEIG on this matter.


  24. - Cassandra - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    FMLA is an important employee right and I assume there are privacy protections, meaning his chain of command may not have been entitled to ask a lot of questions once the doc signed the form. And I doubt there are a lot of rules about what the employee has to be doing for the sick family member in order to be legit. If there is indeed a sick relative requiring care and he was providing it, where’s the beef? A lot of folks don’t realize what a huge benefit FMLA is.


  25. - Jaded - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    In related news, Bass Masters just came out in support of Quinn’s mandatory sick leave proposal.


  26. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Cassandra,

    No disagreement, the question I would have is.. Did he get paid? Does the state pay you when you are on FMLA?

    Also if it was that simple, why resign?


  27. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Ain’t no mystery about this. Gov’s office sends over a political hack. Said hack lets everyone know who their sponsor is. Agency is afraid to hold employee accountable and/or discipline. Lower level employee(s) finally have their fill of the BS and drop a dime to media.

    See IDNR and former Direcotor’s son Scott Flood. Spent most of his time on the job catching Z’s. He was able to stay on long enough to qualify for retirement benefits.

    Deputy Directors do report to Directors. Mr. Miller should have some ’splain to do.


  28. - vole - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Miller woulda been the heavy to question a good ole bass fishin’ boy from s.IL. I mean who’d want to stick their fingers into that bag o’ plastic worms?


  29. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Also, wouldn’t the state log that time differently than sick time? Since it would be unpaid (I suspect) and/or just for general tracking purposes. That is knowing the cost of FMLA time take vs other time taken.


  30. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===No one has yet touched on the obvious: can you envision the great commercials in the fall ===

    LOL

    Anybody who has to resort to ads on stuff like this is not running a strong campaign.


  31. - Cassandra - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    I imagine you can use benefit time–so would get paid if you had accumulated time. I also think there are protections for your job, that is, where FMLA applies, they can’t give your job to somebody else while you are taking fmla. I’m wondering why he resigned too. If he’s a political appointee, could be to spare the guv embarrassment, I suppose, rather than that he had to leave. Maybe he’ll pop up somewhere else.


  32. - Anon. - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    FMLA just gives you the right to take time off for medical reasons, which could include family illness. However, it doesn’t give you the right to get paid for your time off, so it is unpaid unless he had the sick days or vacation days to cover it, which I doubt he had. The transparency and accountability portal shows he was paid over
    $92,000 for the year.


  33. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    == I imagine you can use benefit time–so would get paid if you had accumulated time. == If that was the case than is it really FMLA time? Can you use sick days for FMLA


  34. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    If this were the case. Family Medical Leave it would not have been coded sick time. It would have been coded FMLA.


  35. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    FMLA allows you to use any accrued leave whether sick leave or vacation leave. Would an employer verify that a woman was home while on maternity leave. I think not. Thus, the director would be violating the male employees rights if he started verifying. If it is paternity leave, Maybe he brought his wife and baby with him on fishing trips?


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:09 pm: Again ? Why was his resignation demanded ?


  37. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    Well Anonymous, you are part right I think and part wrong…

    It looks like the state may let you use sick leave for the FMLA stuff (nice employer) and I am not going to wonder how long he had to work for the state to have 44 sick days coming to him…

    Here however I think is the problem

    http://www.dnrintra.state.il.us/PPM/Chap_3/Sec3b-6.pdf

    An employee shall not be granted FMLA designated leave of absence
    Chapter 3
    Section 3B-6
    for the purpose of seeking or taking employment elsewhere or operating a private business. Unauthorized work while on a leave of absence will result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

    It sounds like you can’t do stuff to earn money while out on FMLA (or I would suspect to use sick leave days) and that would make sense. That is in part what makes sick leave different that vacation …

    Since the Walmart FLW tour is a professional tour with prize money.

    http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/flw/tournament/2014/7123/lake-okeechobee-professional-results/

    It would seem he was at least trying to earn money while on FMLA/Sick time, which I suspect is a no-no…


  38. - s.k. hicks - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    From the folks that brought us the miraculous 19 day/$40K pension, the sleeping Regional Land Manager and the all too brief Canoe Czar, please welcome Travis Trout, the FMLA angler. It’s so sad that a former red-letter agency has a perpetual black eye. At least IDNR gets the top level bottom feeders. My condolences to the good people in that Department forced to endure the high dollar baffoons!


  39. - Buckthorn - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 5:54 pm:

    In addition to Loyd’s competitive fishing, his biography says he runs numerous businesses. So while claiming to be sick, he leaves his work to others, fishes all over the country and earns money from private sector businesses. This sounds fishy. I also read that he was named the Director for DNR’s Conservation Foundation. Were we paying him to raise money for the foundation or collect fishing sponsors? Was he given money from people he would regulate? These questions need to be answered.


  40. - American Made Fisherman - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 6:38 pm:

    How could someone be approved for over 40 sick days to go fishing ? I think Director Miller should be held accountable because he was the one the approved the time off.


  41. - Cassandra - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 7:19 pm:

    At least ostensibly he wasn’t granted leave for the purpose… of taking employment elsewhere. He was granted leave because a sick family member needed him and a doctor confirmed that. Is a money prize employment? I dunno. And if commenters are correct, he has been running those businesses all along; I doubt there is a prohibition against having a side business while employed by the state.

    Another peek into the wacky world of government employment. It really is another universe, and the rules are always subject to interpretation.


  42. - Not So Honest Abe aka State Employee - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    I’m a state employee too. and I can do whatever I want. I take all kinds of time off but never REALLY take time off. But if I get caught, I’m going in for FMLA because this would really cause me a great deal of stress.


  43. - Smelling a little fishy... - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 8:31 pm:

    Ok, let me get this straight: The “fishing ghost” calls in sick the entire summer yet his supervisor (I assume the DNR director) has no idea what he’s doing during his endless summer?

    Then to top it off, the ghost THEN gets appointed to head DNR’s fundraising arm? Check out the link: http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com/scattershooting/story/dnr_deputy_director_resigns/

    Best case scenario: It’s simple incompetence. Worst case: It’s criminal behavior. Either way, DNR’s Director needs to go away immediately or that stinky fish smell will only grow stronger.


  44. - Dirk - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 8:44 pm:

    First the stories about Rutherford. Now this? I’m sportsman. I hunt fish and own my own boat. The Natural Resources Agency charges me for it. Now I find out that I am paying some guy to fish in tournaments and have lots of time off work. Nobody can tell me that this guy’s boss didn’t know. I’m embarrassed to work for the state.


  45. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 8:48 pm:

    I asked before what kind of gifts did he declare ? I was told many times their sponsors give them the boat, trailer and the truck to tow it.


  46. - anon - Monday, Feb 10, 14 @ 10:14 pm:

    The Sec of State website should have his economic interest statements. If he did not declare his outside employment there will be another issue here. My guess is that his gifts will not show up.


  47. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 12:40 am:

    Its a good thing Illinois is the state with the most layers of government. This way his job was so redundant that he was never really needed in the first place. He can now go fishing permanently and we still won’t miss him.


  48. - E. Manual - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 8:18 am:

    FMLA doesn’t mean totally incapacitated. An employee could be on longterm unpaid leave to treat a real condition, but one requiring only occasional rather than constant care, but be well enough to do other activities esp. if not strenuous. Many employers also let accrued (paid) benefit time be applied to an FMLA leave, although sick time should not be taken for days not sick; Loyd should have used vacation time for tournament days. The manual cited above also says no “unauthorized” work while on leave. Possibly, lesser discipline plus reimbursement would have been in order. But resignations or requests for them can be driven by other factors, and can occur, at top levels, even where lesser discipline might suffice for a lower-level employee, because of exactly the type of chatter seen here.

    A couple notes: (1) IDNR is in an unfair bind because it probably can’t defend itself publicly without stepping into confidential info (2) Loyd was honored by legislature in resolution for work in 2011 flooding (3) The idea that a Dept. director should be scouring employees’ Facebook pages for inconsistencies is silly.


  49. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 8:42 am:

    E. Manual,
    Yes you don’t have to be incapacitated nor does the person you are caring for if that is the reason you are taking FMLA. But giving him the full benefit of the doubt that he was taking care of someone under FMLA and it was not his own condition. You shouldn’t be working other jobs while you are on it. The implication of FMLA is you have to care for someone so you really don’t have time to work.

    As for repaying the money, suspension, etc. Man, is the rest of the world different than government. If did something like that none of those would be options, the option would be unemployment at best.

    I don’t if you wonder why some people look at government employees the way they do, this sort of crap is why. Because it seems sometimes that government employees get away with stuff you would never be able to get away with outside of government. You may say that isn’t true, but stuff like this does not help that perception.


  50. - Miller Time - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Consider these:
    (1) Director Miller and Lyod are college roomates.
    (2) Lyod was Director Miller’s first hire at IDNR.
    (3) Director Miller’s office is within a few feet of Lyod’s office door where the famous “Gone Fishing” sign hung.
    (4) Director Miller approved Lyod’s timesheet.


  51. - boomer - Tuesday, Feb 11, 14 @ 9:25 pm:

    Here are a few links. Twitter link gives somewhat of a timeline of whereabouts during time away from work.
    https://twitter.com/GoFishTravis
    http://www.gofishtravis.com/http://www.illinoishomepage.net/story/you-paid-for-it-mileage/d/story/Zj88NIhI6EWdVbATj444EA


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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