“An internal investigation into Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northwest Regional Manager JT Romatzke didn’t find direct corroborating evidence to support allegations that he worked in his professional capacity in opposition to implementing wolf reintroduction in the state and tried to get agency staff to produce a video casting CPW commissioners perceived as pro-wolf in a poor light.
However, the investigation found that Romatzke “acted inappropriately,” violated administrative direction, compromised trust between him, CPW and the Department of Natural Resources, and took action that could be construed as questionable, helping third-party organizations mobilize opposition to Gov. Jared Polis.
The investigation was conducted based on a complaint by Randy Hampton, who worked for Romatzke as a public information official. Romatzke was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation and then returned to his job. Hampton quit after being told he would have to return to work under Romatzke.
Hampton’s Jan. 18 complaint accused Romatzke of making “repeated requests for me to engage in actions on behalf of CPW that I believe to be unethical, damaging, and potentially illegal.” He said Romatzke asked him to find a video editor to review CPW meetings and other online sources to compile, and push out on social media, video that might make CPW commissioners Jay Tutchton and Taishya Adams look poorly in the public’s eyes. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the commissioners are perceived to be pro-wolf and the effort was intended to diminish Adams’ influence and block Senate confirmation of Tutchton. He ended up being confirmed this year.”