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Game & Fish commissioner Watkins resigns

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 31, 2013 at 10:11 a.m. Updated January 31, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.

special-to-the-arkansas-democrat-gazette-01232012-lonoke-county-sheriff-booking-photo-rick-watkins-vice-chairman-of-the-arkansas-game-and-fish-commission

Special to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- 01/23/2012 -- Lonoke County Sheriff booking photo - Rick Watkins, vice chairman of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday that Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Vice Chairman Rick Watkins has resigned from his post.

Watkins, 54, was arrested Jan. 22 in Lonoke County and charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and disorderly conduct after he banged on the door of a rural Lonoke County home, "asking where his kids and truck was,” and then fired a shot into the ground, according to reports.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said Watkins was cooperative with the arresting officers, who found a Glock .40-caliber handgun on the hood of a truck, with one round in the chamber and six in the magazine.

In a search of Watkins’ SUV, which had Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner tags, deputies found “several bottles of alcoholic beverages,” as well as several firearms, according to reports.

Beebe said Watkins apologized for his actions.

"There wasn't a lot of explanation or reasoning necessary," he said. "I think everyone knows why he resigned."

Beebe said he would not "speculate" on whether he asked Watkins to step aside.

"I don't need to comment any further," Beebe said. "He resigned."

Watkins, a Little Rock native and graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, is the owner and president of Watkins Co., a printing and distribution company in Little Rock. He also is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.

Beebe said Thursday that he believed Watkins would seek some form of help.

"He's humbled," the governor said.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Comments on: Game & Fish commissioner Watkins resigns

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ArkansasHawk says... January 31, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.

Sounds like he needs to stop volunteering for the Boy Scouts as well, not sure he is the best person to have scouts around.

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dman says... January 31, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

He should have been terminated, but we understand that good-ol-boy pension and benefits probably need to be protected. Likely he'll show up in some other State position in the future.

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Poorboy says... January 31, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.

I knew him years ago and went hunting with him. My daughter worked for him as well. I hate to hear of these troubles for him.

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GiveUsLiberty says... January 31, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.

With power and position comes great responsibility. Mr. Watkins did the "honorable" thing and resigned. I hope he finds the help he needs and I wish him sucess in his future endeavors. Now we've just got to wait for Emon Mahoney to self-destruct.

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faytown says... January 31, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

maybe the NRA would hire him to guard schools

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DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN says... January 31, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.

@Arkansas Hawk, If the boyscouts have to admit queer scout leaders than what wrong with a drunk?

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maingear says... January 31, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.

The question that remains is: What would have happened to an unknown citizen (like you or me) if we were on someone's private property, banging on their door, shooting a firearm, drunk, and armed to the teeth?

Me thinks I would still be wearing a standard issue jump suit.

Boy, ain't political favors grand??

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djigoo says... January 31, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

He can use this pic as his Christmas card!

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fisherqueen says... January 31, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.

DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN says... January 31, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.

@Arkansas Hawk, If the boyscouts have to admit queer scout leaders than what wrong with a drunk?

And the people in our state wonder why people in other states think we are ignorant...

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rpatton3 says... January 31, 2013 at noon

Everybody seems to have their demons. I hope he gets professional treatment for his problem.

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