Tag Archives: abuse

Telecommunications rules and rates @ GA PSC 2013-06-18

Telecommunications rules and rates were deferred and scheduled at the Georgia Public Service Commission meeting Tuesday 18 June 2013.

First item on the regular agenda was Docket # 35537

Title: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Promulgate Rules Governing Eligible Telecommunications Carriers 515-12-1-.35

There was lengthy discussion about the database provision and the $5 minimum charge in those rules. Commissioner Wise didn’t like the database as proposed and asked for an indefinite hold until they had a database that was verifiable.

Commissioner Echols asked whether the current proposal would be like a hold anyway, since it would involve another hearing. Staff said yes. Commissioner Everett asked Continue reading

Animal shelter violations in Chatham County

Some of an animal shelter story coming out in Chatham County sounds familiar.

Mary Landers wrote for SavannahNow 20 October 2012, Savannah Chatham Animal Control Shelter cited for violating state rules: Local professionals call shelter’s care “inhumane”

The county-funded Savannah Chatham Animal Control Shelter was found to have repeatedly violated animal protection requirements in two state inspections last month, and its practices are being criticized as inhumane by four local animal professionals.

One professional criticized the shelter not only in writing, but also by revoking the shelter’s permission to use her veterinary license. The Chatham County Commission says it’s dealt with the problem. We’ll see.


Private prison operations have been rife with abuse —WV Council of Churches

Another Sunday, another church group against private prisons; this time, a group of churches.

Dan Heyman wrote 12 January 2010 for Public News Service – WV, Churches: No Private Prison For Immigrants In WV,

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia’s largest church group has asked U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd and the rest of the state’s congressional delegation to oppose funding a private prison for undocumented immigrants in Pendleton County near the Virginia border. The Council of Churches is one of several groups discussing immigration reform ahead of expected congressional action on the issue. The Council has asked federal lawmakers’ help in the effort, arguing private prison operations have been rife with abuse. GSI Professional Corrections is seeking county commission approval to build the detention center near Sugar Grove to house 1,000 nonviolent immigrant detainees awaiting possible deportation.

Rev. Dennis Sparks, the Council’s executive director, complains private prisons operate outside the mainstream legal

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Authorities are looking into employee complaints at a local animal shelter. —WCTV

Gabrielle Sarann wrote for WCTV 27 July 2011, Deputies Review Employee Complaints at Animal Shelter
“Authorities are looking into employee complaints at a local animal shelter.”
And that’s all she wrote. Really. Follow the link. There’s only that one sentence.


CCA and The GEO Group have been accused of human rights abuses —United Methodist Church

Methodists lobby private prison companies CCA and GEO as shareholders about human rights issues. Seems like this doesn’t help with the 2008 United Methodist Church Resolution 3281, Welcoming the Migrant to the US, which advocated the “elimination of privately-operated detention centers,” but at least they’re doing something. I expect what they’ll accomplish by such lobbying is to demonstrate that private prison companies have no intention of addressing human rights issues, because that would cut into their profits.

Published by General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church July 2011, Faith-Based Investors Take a Closer Look at Private Prisons,

In 2011, members of the United Methodist Interagency Task Force on Immigration approached the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (General Board) with concerns about two private prison companies in the General Board’s investment portfolio: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and The GEO Group, Inc. The United Methodist Interagency Task Force on Immigration was created following the General Conference of 2004. Membership includes representatives from the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), Methodists Associated to Represent the Cause of Hispanic Americans (MARCHA) and two bishops. In addition, GBCS has shared its concern that CCA and The GEO Group have been accused of human rights abuses of young people, immigrants and people of color.

CCA and The GEO Group are the two largest private prison companies in the U.S., operating and/or owning, respectively, 111 and 118 correctional, detention and/or residential treatment facilities. In 2010, CCA earned nearly $1.7 billion; The GEO Group, $1.3 billion.

Investor Engagement with Private Prisons

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Shouldn’t the people running the facilities … be held accountable? —Susan Leavens

Received yesterday. -jsq
To: gary.black@agr.georgia.gov
Sent: Tue, July 26, 2011 2:31:16 PM
Subject: Your attention would be grateful in regaurds to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter

To the Honorable Agriculture Commissioner Mr. Gary Black,

July 26, 2011

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Susan Leavens I currently live in Quitman Georgia and I am an employee with Lowndes County, formally as an animal control officer with Lowndes County Animal Services. In June of last year I turned in three statements to Pat Smith who is no longer with the animal protection division she is currently running the Thomasville Animal Control. After speaking with Ms. Pat an advising her of the situations that have occurred and are currently occurring in the Lowndes County Shelter; she advised me to have statements written by individuals that were willing and not afraid of retaliation. Two current employees myself and Ronnie Ganas wrote statements, one previously employee Amanda Jordan. The issues were heard before Vinessa Sim-Green and several other animal protection employees along with Ms Cora Potter. An administration hearing took place an several “options” were offered to the Lowndes County Manager Joe Prichard. These were things that would help the shelter run more efficiently and perhaps come up to date with the Georgia Dept. of Ag. standards; but the issues of animal cruelty, inhumane treatment and practicing veterinarian medicine (surgery by castration of a 2 young adult pot belly pigs). My concern is that the director was never charged in any criminal court of law for her actions regarding the animals at the shelter.

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There are problems at the animal shelter. They have not been resolved.

I think it’s time to ask: what did they know, and when did they know it?

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:
    “We were not able to substantiate … accusations other than that … castration of pig.”
    That was even though 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:
    “Whatever problems there are, they’re going to be resolved.”
  • 2011-05-24 The VDT quotes County Manager Joe Pritchard as saying:
    “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.”
    “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
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Somebody has gotten fired at the animal shelter

Improper use of drugs for euthanizing animals is apparently enough to get someone fired from the animal shelter, at least if there is a parade of witnesses and paperwork, but only after someone files a complaint with GA Dept. of Ag.

On 16 June 2011 Susan Leavens got a letter from Shirley King, with attached PDF, containing:

  • complaint from Susan Leavens (unknown date):
    “Employee working with Lowndes County Animal Services euthanizing animals wihtout certification.”
  • 2011-06-03 PDF notice of violation from Ga. Dept. Ag. to Lowndes Co. Animal Services
  • a long handwritten statement by Pat Smith, also annotated:
    “Copy of report received by [signed] Joe Pritchard 6-3-11”
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Missing records at GA Dept. of Ag. Animal Protection

Earlier I asked: “So if the investigation takes more than 2 years, do the earlier files about it start to vanish?” It appears that there’s no need to wait 2 years for records to vanish from the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection.

Blogger Rattlin’ Georgia’s Cages wrote at some unknown date about State Audits:

The author of this website is NOT an attorney, nor is attempting to provide legal advice to ANY person or organizational entity. The author of this website does not, nor does this website, represent, nor is affiliated with, the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Division. The author of this website is a previous employee of the Ga. Department of Agriculture, employed as an Animal Protection Inspector, from Dec 2003 until July 29, 2004.

The Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection
Office was audited in 2000.
This office was also reviewed, by the State Audit Office, in 2003,
for a follow up – to determine if this office was adhering
to the state auditor’s recommendations.
* My comments are in red text.
I’ve included here a couple of examples from that audit, with that blogger’s comments in red. -jsq
The Department has the authority to suspend or revoke a facility’s license. If a facility is found to be operating without a license, the Program notifies the facility of the licensure requirement, provides a copy of the standards that must be met to obtain a license, and schedules a pre-license inspection.

* Unlicensed breeders found to be operating unlicensed were not, during my employment, monetarily fined for violations. Under the authority of the Ga. Admin Procedures Act, Ag AP could, but rarely did, fine a person.

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Why make it hard to obtain the budget? —Jessica Bryan Hughes

Why, indeed? -jsq
This is ridiculous.

-Jessica Bryan Hughes

This comment came in yesterday on Proposed Lowndes County Budget published by LAKE.