Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Birgit Fladager”

Getting D.A. Fladager Up Off Her Chair to do Her Job

Scale of justice

By Emerson Drake

On Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013, I appeared before the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in the morning and the Modesto City Council at night and each time I talked about the animal abuse happening in Modesto. I recited District Attorney Birgit Fladager’s  office number (525-5550 ) and requested for people to call and ask for her to get up off of her chair and do her job. These weren’t the first times nor will they be the last.  I’ll keep appearing until she does something towards defending the pets/animals and families  in Stanislaus County.

This originated when several women appeared in front of both of the official bodies, City and County , to plead their case and ask  for justice. Phillip Sumner and Jeff Reed have been baiting, capturing and disposing of people’s pet cats for years.  Sumner actually claims to have been doing this for more than ten years.  These women have filed complaints and have a case number, 12-32208, which has been presented to the District Attorney by the Modesto Police Department whose hands are tied until the D.A. decides to prosecute.  There is an existing California state law, 597-S which D.A.’s around the state have been using successfully.  Our D.A,. Ms. Birgit Fladager, doesn’t feel it’s adequate and says the District Attorney’s office has more important things to do and just doesn’t have the time.

I first wrote about this story in November after being at the City Council meeting on Oct. 23,2012, when several women came and spoke.  I still find it hard to believe Ms. Fladager, who claims to be a cat fancier, is ignoring these families’ pain.  Luring, trapping, and disposing of a neighbors family pet is despicable.  And when you consider it was done by a neighbor to a  four-year-old autistic boy’s pet it becomes even worse.

Obviously some Customer Service Skills are Lacking

When I called and requested the D.A. take action I was met with a hostile attitude by the person that answered the phone.  The woman seemed more interested in deterring any request for action by asking many questions designed to dishearten callers. She actually suggested people who weren’t principals in the case had no business in calling.  I take  exception to that.  D.A. Birgit Fladager’s representatives had been very explicit in saying “Go away and don’t bother us any more: and it’s time for them to be informed that wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, on Friday afternoon at 4:45  former Modesto Police Captain and now Chief D.A. Investigator Dan Interbitzen called wanting to talk and left a voicemail.  I returned his call about twenty minutes later but his weekend had already started. I left a message and will try again on Monday.  I’ll be happy to talk with him. I’ll even give him the number of the case file he already has in a file cabinet.  We’ll do anything we can to assist D.A. Birgit Fladager and Chief  Investigator Dan Interbitzen in acquiring some motivation to proceed with charges in the case.

It’s nice to see Modesto is progressing with an ordinance of its own while at the same time hoping to get all of the cities in Stanislaus County to do the same through the Joint Powers Authority(animal services).  Unfortunately the Safety and Communities Committee won’t be able to hear the ordinance until February as Councilman Lopez isn’t fond of committee meetings lasting more than an hour despite the fact that prior to last week they met only two times in the last six months.

Please feel free to call Ms. Fladager’s office at 209-525-5550 and request she get up off of her chair and help stop animal abuse in Stanislaus County.  When they ask you can tell them the case, # 12-32208 and you that have a friend who told you about the four-year-old autistic boy and the rest of the families who have lost beloved pets to these men.

And a big heart-felt thank you to those who have already called from all the families involved and a special thank you from the little boy who continues to leave his bedroom window open so his friend can come back to be with him.

Follow-up to the JPA Animal Abuse Meeting

English: Author: Carl Skaggs This image was ta...

By Emerson Drake

Technically it was the conversation that wasn’t.  Modesto’s representative, MPD’s Captain Harris, didn’t understand that for something to be discussed it had to be on the agenda of the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) since it falls  under the Brown Act.  A lamentable occurence since it would have pushed this to the forefront county-wide.  As long as Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, who claims to be an animal lover through intermediaries, is in office animal abuse will NOT be punished within the County borders. This  makes it imperative for the cities concerned about animal abuse to develop an ordinance of their own.  The potential ordinance was passed out to all of the JPA members, one of whom provided me a copy. 

Modesto City Attorney Susanna Acala Wood is still refining the verbiage but since Modesto’s Safety and Communities Committee’s agenda is full it won’t be heard until sometime in February, so there isn’t a rush.  Since this committee’s meetings have been cancelled four times out of the last six it’s no surprise the agenda is full.

Some of the families including those of Hallie Sue Robinson and Heather Sisk are disappointed that the proposed ordinance won’t provide any remedy for the past.  But they do understand that if these men and any others abuse animals in the future, including cats, they will be punished. 

For those who would like to let District Attorney Birgit Fladager know how they feel about her foot-dragging, here is her office number (525-5550 ).  Please don’t hesitate to call since she likes to hear from the public how you feel about the job she’s doing for you.

We’re going to help by keeping this topic front and center to assist in helping it pass, there are also several vocal supporters in the City Council including Councilmen Joe Muratore, Dave Geer and John Gunderson, along with City Attorney Susana Acala Wood. To get a more complete background on this story we have an article from November 30,  “Modesto’s Cat Killer Phillip Sumner.”

We’ll discuss the rest of the JPA meeting in another article.  Once again there are things both good and bad happening out at the Animal Services Building you need to know but haven’t heard of.

Here is the proposed ordinance without the tweaks”

ORDINANCE NO. __________-C.S.

 

AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTIONS 5-4.405 TO ARTICLE 4 OF CHAPTER 4 TITLE 5 OF THE MODESTO MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO DISPOSITION OF STRAY ANIMALS

 

The Council of the City of Modesto does ordain as follows:

 

 

SECTION 1.   AMENDMENT OF CODE.  Section 5-4.405 is hereby added to Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 5 of the Modesto Municipal Code to read as follows:

 

5-4.405    DISPOSITION OF STRAY ANIMALS

 

(a)                It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor offense for any person who contains any stray animal (including cats) found at large or on their property to abandon the animal.

 

 

(b)               Within eight (8) hours after containing any such animal, the person doing so shall do one of the following:

 

(1)               Return the animal to the owner if the owner is known.

 

 

(2)               Report to City of Modesto Animal Control officials the fact that such animal is contained, a description of the animal and license number of such animal if any; or

 

 

(3)               Transport the animal to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency facility and provide the date, time and location of when and where the animal was located when surrendering the animal to facility staff.

 

 

(c)                Animal Control Officers shall pick up and dispose of such animal in the same manner as though such animal had been found at large and impounded.

 

 

(d)               This section shall not be interpreted to apply to a person or organization registered with the Animal Services Agency as a caretaker for feral cats when that person is caring for feral cats.

Animal Abuse Ordinance to be Discussed at JPA meeting Thursday at 9:00AM

A montage I (Valente Q.C.) made with pictures ...

A montage I (Valente Q.C.) made with pictures that I took for the Infobox in the Modesto, California Article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Emerson Drake

Thursday 12/20 at 9:00 AM an animal abuse ordinance is going to be discussed which would allow cities to prosecute abusers, since our District Attorney, Birgit Fladager refuses to .  It’s a sad situation when cat killers like Phillip Sumner and Jeff Reed are allowed to lure, trap, and abandon animals without any penalties.

The meeting is going to be held at 3647 Cornucopia Way at the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency.  The Modesto City Council has taken the lead along with Chief Balentine and Captain Harris from the Modesto Police Department,  and we hope an ordinance will be in place by early February.  I know it won’t bring  justice to those suffering from past abuse, but hopefully it will help prevent future occurrences.

And if you can find time feel free to give our District Attorney Birgit Fladager a call and ask her why she won’t protect our pets.

Her phone number is 525-5550  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised no email is listed on the County’s website. Or if you are so inclined, appear at a Board of Supervisors meeting and tell them how you feel.

I went and spoke to them last night about this and other subjects during Public Comment Period.  They appreciate all of the input the public is willing to give them.  It’s towards the beginning of their meetings so you can speak and stay and listen or leave when you’re through.

They’re a friendly Board  and it really is almost painless.

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