Former PA Game Commissioner Fined $75K for Lease Moonlighting

William Capouillez

In August 2013 an extensive investigative article about a then-director for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, William A. Capouillez, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer (see PA Director of Game Commission Double-Dipping with Gas Leases?). The article spotlighted a potential conflict of interest between Capouillez’s day job and his moonlighting side job as an agent for property owners who lease their land for oil and gas development. The issue? He was signing private deals with the same companies that often work with his state agency. It became a serious legal issue for at least one driller–Range Resources. The independent 8-member board that runs the Game Commission was about to promote Capouillez to the top job of executive director when then-Gov. Tom Corbett put the brakes on it (see PA Gov Corbett Blocks Promotion of Moonlighter at Game Commission). In September the chairman of the PA House Committee on State Government, Daryl Metcalfe, asked the State Ethics Commission to investigate his activities (see PA Game Comm. Head Not Afraid of Gas Leasing Ethics Investigation). Capouillez’s response was “bring it on.” He said he had not taken on new clients for his moonlighting job in three years and had done nothing wrong. The State Ethics Commission did investigate and now, three years later, the Commission levied a $75,000 fine, which Capouillez has agreed to pay, although he remains defiant and says the fine is a tiny fraction of the original fine sought–indication of his vindication…

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