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IDNR official resigns; he fished on sick leave

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A top administrator at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Friday he was forced to resign last week because of his doctor-ordered participation in professional fishing tournaments while on sick leave.

Travis Loyd said he did nothing wrong and fishing was part of his recovery from a chronic illness that threatened his life if he didn't reduce stress. IDNR would only say that Loyd violated rules under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Loyd, the former deputy director in charge of mines and minerals, said he faced additional strain last year as lawmakers, bureaucrats and interest groups wrangled over writing rules governing hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or "fracking."

As a result, he took 44 days off work during the summer months under the federal medical-leave law, and with his doctor's encouragement, participated in several pro fishing tournaments.

IDNR spokesman Chris McCloud said Loyd resigned from his $92,000-a-year job Feb. 8.

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