Smithsonian Secretary thinks gutting ESA is community service
More than a year after he was convicted of violating a federal endangered species law, Smithsonian Institution Secretary Lawrence M. Small is still negotiating with the Justice Department over exactly what kind of “community service” he must perform as part of his sentence.Send this one to Webter's as the new definition of chutzpah. He had at least 219 items containing endangered species' parts in his 1,000 piece collection of Amazonian artifacts. He wants to spend his 100 hours of community service reading books about the Endangered Species Act and meeting with lawmakers about how to change the law.
The Smithsonian's chief executive wants to use the 100-hour punishment to lobby Congress to change the “outmoded” law he violated, while prosecutors argue that Small's proposal doesn't match the severity of his crime.
The prosecutor suggested that Small use his fund-raising prowess and managerial skills toward the preservation and protection of endangered species in organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund or the Environmental Defense Fund or perhaps help establish a foundation dedicated to a similar goal.