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State sturgeon biologist resigns following investigation

CHILTON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s former top sturgeon biologist has resigned and has been fined for lying to investigators looking into the illegal processing of sturgeon eggs into caviar.

Ryan Koenigs earlier pleaded no contest to resisting a conservation warden in Calumet County. He was fined $500 in court Thursday, WLUK-TV reported.

Koenigs resigned from the Department of Natural Resources Thursday morning, according to his attorney.

The criminal complaint alleges Koenigs’ statements in an in interview last year didn’t match phone records and other DNR documents.

An investigation revealed that Koenigs and other DNR employees would allegedly collect eggs from spearers, telling them they were for research purposes.

According to a criminal complaint, Koenigs allegedly allowed a co-worker to take the eggs and have them processed, then shared some of the caviar with DNR employees. Koenigs is accused of accepting about $20,000 worth of caviar, by way of bartering, which is illegal.

Koenigs was also convicted last month in Winnebago County of resisting a conservation warden. He was fined $50 in that case.

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