GLOUCESTER, Mass.— The head of law enforcement for the nation’s fisheries was on the hot seat as a congressional panel met in Massachusetts to discuss a scathing inspector general’s report.

Dale Jones of NOAA Fisheries faced members of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today in Gloucester.

The January report found mismanagement at the agency and the appearance of arbitrary enforcement.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, questioned Jones about fines collected from fishermen, and asked why some were used to fund his overseas trips.

Kucinich also asked why the agency had a large number of criminal investigators to enforce primarily civil violations. He asked if Jones viewed fishermen as criminals.

Jones responded that he was simply hiring the best investigators. And he said the money was managed according to NOAA rules.

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