Ohio geologist demoted for excluding boss

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio’s veteran state geologist has been demoted for failing to adequately vet work with his politically appointed boss, including a new map of the Utica shale formation rich with oil and gas.

A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Larry Wickstrom lost his position leading the Ohio Division of Geological Survey on May 9. He remains a department employee.

A copy of Wickstrom’s quarterly review released by the department today says Wickstrom failed to meet repeated requests by ODNR Director James Zehringer to notify and involve the director’s office on “matters that would set or significantly impact state policy.”

Wickstrom’s demotion and the contents of his review were first reported by The Athens News.

A message was left with Wickstrom seeking comment. His record was previously unblemished.

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