June 18, 2019 Minutes | www.charlescountymd.gov

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Charles County, Maryland

June 18, 2019 Minutes

Minutes
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

ANIMAL MATTERS HEARING BOARD
FOR CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND MINUTES OF MEETING
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for Charles County, Maryland, was convened by the Chairperson at 6:04 p.m. in the County Commissioners Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, with the following Board members.

Maria Padgett, Chair
Matthew Cook, Vice Chair
Christi Montgomery
Sgt. Travis Yates
Eva Lightfoot
Katie Shelton
Bill Van Blarcum
Shanee’ Major-Kelly, Associate County Attorney
Maria Team, Clerk-excused
Jesse Bungcayao, Assistant Clerk
Samantha Knott, Paralegal

A quorum was declared based upon the presence of a majority of the appointed Board Members;

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for May 21, 2019 were approved and adopted.
Citation 6881-issued to Lisa Gross for the alleged violation of Section(s) 230.8.A and 230.9.A of the Charles County Animal Regulations for her Miniature Poodle “Dude.” Testimony was heard from Animal Control Officer Jeff Thomas and Ms. Gross. Officer Thomas testified that he responded to a call regarding a dog left in a vehicle of the mall parking lot. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office had responded and used a device to open the door of the vehicle before he arrived.
Ms. Gross testified that she was not aware that a dog could not be left unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time and that she was gone for approximately 15-20 minutes. Ms. Gross provided proof of rabies to the board issued to “Dude” on July 14, 2018 and expires on August 14, 2019.
Mr. Matthew Cook made a motion to find Ms. Gross in violation of Sections 230.8.A 230.9.A with a total fine of $250.00 due by July 16, 2018 and also ordered to obtain a Charles County Animal License. The motion was seconded by Sgt. Travis Yates. Six members voted in favor and one member opposed to finding Ms. Gross in violation of 230.9.A. The motion passed with the majority voting in favor to pass the motion.

Citation 6829-issued to Diana Rosette for the alleged violation of Section(s) 230.10.A, 230.12, and 230.9.A of the Charles County Animal Regulations for her Bulldog “Torito.” Ms. Rosette was not present. Testimony was heard from Animal Control Officer Jeff Thomas.              
Ms. Katie Shelton made a motion to find Ms. Rosette in violation of 230.10.A, 230.12, and 230.9.A with a total fine of $250.00 and sent to the State’s Attorneys Office for Failure to Appear. The motion was seconded by Ms. Christy Montgomery. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.

File No. 19-17 – (Board member Sgt. Travis Yates recused himself).
The case of Katharyn Freeman against Jeff Wood was called. Testimony was heard from Ms. Freeman and Mr. Wood. Ms. Freeman alleged that Mr. Wood’s two dogs were at large, destroyed her property and killed her three cats.
Mr. Wood testified that he had left his dogs out by mistake the night before and his dog’s radio transmitting collars were out of range. He was notified by the Charles County Sheriff’s Department that his dogs were loose and may have killed three cats. Mr. Wood stated he was unable to immediately pursue his dogs due to unforeseen events taking precedence but acknowledged that it was his dogs on her property and takes full responsibility.   

Mr. Matthew Cook made a motion to find Mr. Wood in violation of Sections 230.12.4.A.1, 230.4.A.2, 230.12.A.4, 230.12.5.A.2, 12.5.A.3, 230.12.5.C with a total fine of $2,200.00 due by August 6, 2019 and additionally ordered to abate the nuisance under: 230.12.5.E(1), E(3), E(4), E(5), E(5)(a), E(5)(b), and E8(G). The motion was seconded by Ms. Eva Lightfoot. All members voted in favor of the motion and it was passed unanimously.

*Mr. Matthew Cook requested that Chairperson Padgett to reopen to allow his Motion for Reconsideration. The Chairperson reopened the Animal Matters Hearing Board at 8:05 p.m. to address a reconsideration of the order made for File 19-17 Katharyn Freeman v. Jeff Wood. Sgt. Travis Yates recused himself. Mr. Matthew Cook made an amended motion to remove the violations for Sections 230.12.5.C and 230.12.5.A.3 and find Mr. Wood in violation of Sections 230.12.4.A.1, 230.12.4.A.2 and 230.12.5.A.2 with a total fine of $1,200.00 due by August 6, 2019 and to abate the nuisance under 230.12.5.E (1), E(3), E(4), E(5), E(5)(a), E(5)(b), E(5)(c), and E(8)(g). The motion was seconded by Mr. Bill Van Blarcum and the motion passed with the majority voting in favor.


Chairperson Maria Padgett motioned to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Matthew Cook. All members voting in favor, the hearing was adjourned at 7:16 p.m.  Chief Tucker asked to provide an update to the board and therefore the hearing was reopened by the Chairperson at 7:16 p.m.

Other Business
Chief Ed Tucker updated the board on a previous order for Citation #6868 to Mr. Gmaz. Mr. Gmaz was ordered to obtain a Fancier’s License within fifteen days of the hearing on May 21, 2019. As of this hearing Animal Control has not received a Fancier’s License Application from Mr. Gmaz. The Chairperson requested that Animal Control issue a citation to Mr. Gmaz for violation of the Board’s Order.

Assistant Clerk, Ms. Jesse Bungcayao informed the board that she reached out to Mr. Windham by email and phone, to inform him that the Board would rehear his case (Citation #6880) but was unable to get a response from Mr. Windham. Chairperson Maria Padget instructed her to move forward with the procedures for “Failure to Appear.”  

There was a motion by Chairperson Padgett to adjourn the Animal Matters Hearing Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Christy Montgomery. All members voting in favor, the hearing was adjourned at 7:18 p.m. *

Immediately following the hearing, Associate County Attorney, Shanee’ Major-Kelly held orientation for new and existing members to provide an update on notice requirements, interpreter requests and procedures, fines and motions, and code of civility.


There being no further business the Chairperson motioned to adjourn the hearing. The motion was seconded by Mr. Matthew Cook. All members voted in favor and the hearing was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.