LITTLE ROCK Gov. Mike Beebe has named Ty Patterson of Texarkana to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, filling an opening created when Commissioner Rick Watkins resigned after an arrest in Lonoke County.
Patterson, 35, is a partner in the Orr/Patterson Automotive Group in Texarkana and a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
"Ty has a lifetime of outdoor experience, particularly in Southwest Arkansas," Beebe said in a statement. "His enthusiasm and experience will serve him well as he represents that region of our State on the commission."
At a ceremony announcing the appointment, Beebe called Patterson an "avid hunter and fisherman." Patterson's appointment is set to expire July 1, 2014, after he serves the remaining 16 months of Watkins' term.
Beebe said the shorter time on the commission doesn't diminish the important role Patterson will play.
"It's no less important," he said. "It's no less significant. It's no less an opportunity for you to leave your mark to help in conservation ... I know from your background that you will do a great job."
Patterson is a board member of the First Tee of Texarkana and volunteers on committees for Opportunities Inc.
Watkins, who served as vice chairman of the commission, was charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and disorderly conduct after his Jan. 22 arrest. Police say he banged on the door of a rural Lonoke County home and later fired a shot into the ground.
Beebe said Watkins apologized for his actions when he resigned and indicated he would be seeking some form of help.