Mayor’s Defense After Animal Cruelty Conviction: The Dog Wasn’t Mine!
Two months after he was convicted of animal cruelty charges for the death of a pit bull named Hershey, Maywood Mayor Ramon Medina now claims the dog was not his and that L.A. County officials are after him because of his Mexican origins.
In 2015, a man named Bobby Wiley dropped an emancipated and dehydrated dog named Hershey off at an animal shelter in Downey. It was immediately clear to Animal Control officers that the dog had been neglected and improperly cared for. The animal had to be euthanized.
According to L.A. County Animal Control’s Deputy Director of Operations Danny Ubario, department officials traced the dog back to Medina and referred the case to county prosecutors. Bobby Wiley, authorities say, was found to have been an employee of Medina’s.
Medina pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charges but invoked the Fifth Amendment when it came to his relationship to Wiley. He was convicted in August and scheduled to be sentenced in September. However, sentencing has been postponed until next month.
Medina’s attorney has now filed a motion that seeks to have the conviction thrown out. Among other things, he claims the dog never belonged to his client in the first place.
“My client never owned the dog, no one testified to ever seeing the dog at his locale and Mr. Wiley in an act of mercy took the dog to the vet after finding him,” attorney Anthony Willoughby said. Furthermore, he believes Medina is the target of a ‘witch hunt’ by county officials who can’t stand to see a Mexican-American “on the brink of realizing his personal American Dream.”
Lately, Medina’s American Dream has taken on some nightmarish qualities. In February, investigators with the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office raided his home and offices in connection with a public corruption probe. Ironically, Animal Control officials had to be called in during the sweep to remove 40 roosters from his property. Like Hershey, Medina claims the roosters weren’t his, but belonged to his son.
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.