Let's construct a timeline:
- 2011-05-20 euthanasia violation
- 2011-05-20 statement from Heather Terry
- 2011-05-23 County Manager Joe Pritchard
tells the Commission and the public:
WCTV already reported there had been several
euthanasia violations last year.
Pritchard also said they (the county in its previous investigation, presumably the one of 2010) examined the character of those testifying for the complaints and he said they found biases.
- 2011-05-24 County Commission Chairman Ashley Paulk tells the Commission and the public:
- 2011-05-24 The VDT quotes County Manager Joe Pritchard
“It's no longer a case of an individual making a claim, as it will be evident by the physical evidence provided by the security cameras.”and:
“You take that policy, coupled with the updated standard operating procedures, added to the technical verification and I think that addresses the issues. My purpose is to eliminate any problem or potential problem.”
- 2011-05-31 statement by Director Linda Patelski saying two people fired for euthanasia violation of 20 May 2011
- 2011-06-01 statement from Lenora Lynn Miller
- 2011-06-03 statement from Michelle Shultz
- 2011-06-03 statement from Shawn Chace
- 2011-06-03 notice of violation from Ga. Dept. Ag. to Lowndes Co. Animal Services
- 2011-06-03 statement on notice of violation by Investigator Pat Smith signed by County Manager Joe Pritchard
- 2011-06-12 open records request from Susan Leavens
- 2011-06-16 open records response from Shirley King
- 2011-06-29 Chairman Ashley Paulk
threatens the Humane Society with legal action:
“...the Humane Society provided two county employees with undercover cameras as a gratuity.He also said:
I want those two undercover cameras returned by my two employees, or there will be some administrative action.
I'm making this a public record.
If I don't get those cameras back and the gratuity I'm going to pursue it through the Sheriff's office.
Needs to be public record in the VDT.”
“If anyone will make a sworn affidavit, I will take it.”After the meeting Chairman Paulk accosted Humane Society people and animal shelter employees in the parking lot and again threatened them with legal action.
One week after that last, Director Linda Patelski signed a statement saying two people were fired for the violation that GA Dept. of Ag. investigated. Three days later County Manager Joe Pritchard signed the statement by the Investigator.
Why didn't the county investigate, instead of leaving it to the state? How do these cameras and updated procedures address the previous allegations that have not been resolved?
Susan Leavens tried following the chain of command right up to the County Manager and the County Commission, yet the county couldn't seem to find a violation that the state could. Whose character should we be examining?
After County Manager Joe Pritchard signed the report from GA Dept. of Ag. Investigator Pat Smith regarding the euthanasia violation for which Director Linda Patelski fired two people at the Animal Shelter, Chairman Ashley Paulk, far from re-opening a broader investigation, threatened legal action against the Humane Society for conducting their own investigation.
People could start to get the impression that the county is trying to hide something.
“Whatever problems there are, they're going to be resolved.”
Why is the county sitting around waiting for somebody to bring them sworn statements? When the state did a proper investigation, there was no shortage of statements. What would the county find if it did the same?
There are problems. They have not been resolved.
Where does the buck stop, Chairman Paulk?