The Tragedy of "Brokleigh" the badger
The NYSDEC is currently frustrating justice in a case involving the fraudulent acquirement of three exotic animals by one licensee from another. While answering the initial complaint in the case, the accused licensee, Tyler Thomas, admitted to the fraudulent scheme in which he named the specific people in state and federal government agencies with whom he had been working in order to justify the illegal possession of the animals. Thomas contacted the DEC, knowing the owner of the animals was in contention with the Department, and arranged for the assistance of two or three specific staff members he has befriended, to assist him in keeping the animals once he gained possession of them. In spite of entering into a legally-enforceable boarding agreement, Thomas had every intention of keeping the animals permanently and moving out of state with them, even before he had physical possession of them. In order to do so, Joe Therrien of the Special Licenses Unit, Paul Stringer, Licensing Tech in the Special Licenses Unit and William Powell of the Division of Law Enforcement allowed the illegal export of the animals and unlawfully pardoned Thomas from the mandate of documenting the move of the animals to Texas. Such transfers must be documented within a certain time-frame to the state pursuant the corresponding licensing provision. By failing to document the movement of the animals out of state, owner couldn't look for a trail of documentation as to where he took her animals.
It wasn't until at least two months later and after the owner of the animals became aware of his leaving the state with her animals, that Thomas documented the move on a license renewal application. However, in doing so, he also falsified the document stating at least one animal was on loan to a Texas exotic animal facility when the owner of the facility has not only adamantly denied a loan ever taking place but the animal was never even seen by her, her business partner (husband) and associates. He also stated a date of the move to have occurred after he wanted the Court to believe that one of the animals was dead of an "unknown cause".
Falsifying documentation in this manner may be elevated to a misdemeanor if there are honest authorities notified of such a violation of the law. However, because the DEC had such influence over Thomas' actions, they not only allowed him to falsify the paperwork but they did not cite him for the violations of laws involving the stolen animals. In addition to New York and Texas state laws, Thomas is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act, the Lacey Act, and possibly even the Endangered Species Act, which incurred the DEC to work with the USDA and help Thomas avoid charges for those crimes as well. DEC's effort in subverting justice also incorporated the involvement of a USDA staff member who helped with the DEC;s effort by contacting a Texan veterinarian to talk the vet into forging a necropsy (which was then submitted to the Court) so Thomas could tell the Courts that the stolen animal were dead and providing "proof" of it.
Any complaints submitted formally by the owner of the animals were intercepted by this staff member and her supervisor and held open for months at a time during which she failed to perform thorough, good-faith investigation on the matter. then closing the complaints. The last complaint submitted by the owner of the animals was never even processed.
The USDA is really nothing more than a larger NYSDEC. There is the same corruption and violation of the laws by animal care inspectors and the supervisory staff. This is why our facility supports the end of all licensing systems involving exotic animals. The authorities involved in enforcing the laws of such licensing are incapable of regulating activity fairly and legally and even commit acts identical to the ones the licensing systems were designed to prevent. As a result, crime involving exotic animals, especially the illegal trafficking of such valuable animals, is often supported by the authorities who are implementing the licensing regulations. Makes you wonder why the licensing systems were put into place to begin with.
Currently, the owner of the animals is in pending litigation and although given a sweet settlement opportunity, Thomas continues to cause dilatory delays in fulfilling his end of the agreement. His attorney, Michael F. Young of Lowville, NY, has tried almost every underhanded trick, from abusive courtroom behavior to the failure of sending the other side papers mandated by court. The latest showmanship of the attorney's lack of ethics is the assistance he is accepting from the NYSDEC in order to prevent the animals from being returned, despite the issuance of several rulings and orders given by the Court to do so. Working with the NYSDEC or giving them any information concerning details not considered public information was a term of the settlement agreement between the parties.
The defendant and his attorney are currently working with the NYSDEC in causing strategic delay of the return of the animals in order to target the owner's licensing of the animals. It is important to note, however, that no licensing is mandated by the owner of the animals for mere possession, so long as the animals are not state-owned, which they are not. Since September 18, 2019, the agency is currently working on passing an agency rule in order to require licensing of non-indigenous species including the American Badger. This way, the department can deny the application from the owner of the animals and give her animals to the defendant permanently. At least that's what the department thinks it can do.
However, the adoption of the rule should not change anything pertaining to the owner repossessing her animals. First, since the defendant acquired the animals illegally to begin with, the time the owner missed spending with her animals started the moment the defendant took the animals under fraudulent circumstances. This was a clear breach of the contract to which both parties agreed. All of the time from July 2017, when the defendant acquired the animals, to the day she gets compensation for the animals from the defendant, is to be accounted for and may incur the Court to order the department to issue a special license allowing the possession of the animals by their owner which was denied to her when she did have licensing to exhibit the animals.
Moreover, possession does not equate to legal ownership over personal property, which is what animals are considered in every state of the nation. As a result, the owner can, and will, still legally assert her right as the animals' owner and decide where to place them if she is truly not allowed to possess the animals. So, meanwhile, the defendant may continue on with his games. Eventually he will test the patience of the Court and lose the best settlement offer for which he could have hoped, in order to do the right thing and end this ordeal so both parties may move on with their lives. The longer he deceives the court, the closer the defendant and his attorney are to getting contempt sanctions and possibly even influencing the Court to increase the monetary reward for compensation in the final judgment.
Additionally, the role of the DEC, being clearly exposed and brought to the attention of the Courts, may be used as yet another example of the department's hatred of that part of the public which refuses to be pushed around and bullied by a department which serves as nothing more than a puppet for specific special interests. This is why the department has been considered the most hated government agency in the state for well over a decade already and still is considered such to this day. It's long past the time when the public needed to act together to take our government agencies back. So let's go! --> Please sign & share