U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Don White said Scott D. Clark, 26, was on an assignment in St. Paul, Minn., when he was arrested for allegedly beheading the animal, The Rocky Mountain News said Wednesday.
"He was in St. Paul on an official government auditing assignment," White said.
Police said Clark -- an auditor in the Office of Inspector General -- tore the duck's head off near the hotel's atrium pond Saturday and then told witnesses: "I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it."
"It sounds like there was quite a bit of alcohol involved," police Sgt. John Wuorinen said.
If convicted of a felony animal cruelty charge, Clark could be sentenced to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine, the newspaper said.