LaRoche confirmed commissioner of Fish and Wildlife

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(Host) The Vermont Senate has given its approval to the most controversial of Governor Jim Douglas’ appointments. By a vote of 21 to 8, the full Senate supported the nomination of Wayne LaRoche to be the state’s new fish and wildlife commissioner.

LaRoche’s nomination became very controversial. Several weeks before he was appointed, he wrote a newspaper editorial strongly criticizing the agreement governing the future of former paper company land in the Northeast Kingdom.

Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Welch said LaRoche used inflammatory language in the newspaper piece. But Welch doesn’t think the editorial should disqualify LaRoche from serving as Fish and Wildlife commissioner:

(Welch) “I will be supporting the confirmation of Mr. LaRoche. It’s not without some reservations. I do believe that the governor is entitled to the benefit of any doubt and I have some significant doubts here, but the governor has to be given an opportunity to assemble his team in an effort to succeed at the job that the Vermont electorate has elected him to do.”

(Host) Opponents of LaRoche said they had raised important concerns about his appointment and they plan to keep a close watch on his performance as commissioner.

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