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Interim director recommended to lead Game and Fish

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 19, 2011 at 11:09 a.m. Updated January 19, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.

arkansas-game-and-fish-interim-director-loren-hitchcock-looks-on-during-a-personnel-meeting-wednesday-shortly-after-being-recommended-to-lead-the-agency-on-a-more-permanent-basis

Arkansas Game and Fish interim director Loren Hitchcock looks on during a personnel meeting Wednesday shortly after being recommended to lead the agency on a more permanent basis.

— An Arkansas Game and Fish committee is recommending hiring the agency's interim director as its more permanent leader.

The Committee of the Whole voted 4-3 Wednesday to recommend acting director Loren Hitchcock for the job. A final decision will come at a full commission meeting Thursday.

The other finalists were Mike Armstrong, assistant director of field services for Game and Fish; Tom Bennett, vice president of operations at the National Archery in the Schools Program Foundation; and Don Brazil, deputy administrator of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

The four finalists were whittled down by the commission last month from a field of 15 applicants. Interviews with the four were held earlier this week.

Commission Chairman Craig Campbell, who joined Commissioners Rick Watkins, Emon Mahony and Ronald Pierce in voting to recommend Hitchcock, said all four finalists were strong candidates.

"I can assure everybody in this room there were four outstanding candidates," he said shortly before the vote.

Hitchcock, formerly a deputy director, has been the acting director since September.

Scott Henderson was director of the agency before stepping down to become the assistant director for special projects.

Former commission Chairman Sheffield Nelson has leveled a number of criticisms at the agency in recent months, including an allegation that Campbell, Mahony, and Watkins forced the resignation. They have denied doing so.

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