NWSEO Defends Members from Congressman Barney Frank’s Attacks
(October 4, 2010) NWSEO is defending three NOAA Enforcement Attorneys whose work is unfairly targeted by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The attorneys, members of NWSEO, were the subject of an Inspector General’s investigation into the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Program. The IG investigation is the result of several Massachusetts state lawmakers and members of Congress complaining of excessive penalties assessed against commercial fishing interests who have broken the law.
The NOAA enforcement attorneys, who have received a combined total of 38 performance awards for their enforcement actions since 2002, follow agency guidelines and the penalty schedule established by NOAA found at http://www.gc.noaa.gov/docs.html#gcel. The performance awards include cases which are part of the IG investigation, such as the multiple enforcement actions against the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction.
Congressman Barney Frank has attacked NWSEO’s work with the attorneys, blurring the facts to make it appear as though NWSEO’S work is against fisherman. NWSEO President Dan Sobien has made the union’s stand for fair treatment of the NOAA enforcement attorneys while also supporting honest fisherman in his recent response to Congressman Frank’s allegations:
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