PETA wins a round in lawsuit against Ringling Bros. spies

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2005:

VIENNA, Virginia– Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David
Stitt on December 7 sanctioned Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus
owner Kenneth Feld for failing to provide copies of documents to
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in compliance with the
process of discovery.
PETA sued Ringling and Feld Entertainment Inc. in 2001 for
allegedly funding numerous acts of infiltration and disruption,
beginning more than a decade earlier. The case is scheduled for
trial in February 2006.
Judge Stitt ordered Kenneth Feld to disclose his net worth
and recent tax returns to PETA and to surrender unredacted copies
of documents including a 30-page “Ringling Bros. Long Term Animal
Welfare Plan Draft #5.” Attorney Philip Hirschkop, representing
PETA, testified that a copy previously sent to PETA was mostly
blacked out.
Stitt also ordered Feld to provide copies of any other
documents produced by the Feld “Animal issues department.”
Recalled Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat, “In August
2005, Feld’s lawyers were ordered to pay more than $50,000 in fines
to PETA for contempt of court,” after similar incidents.

“Many documents in the case are under seal,” Barakat
continued, “and Stitt rejected a motion by PETA to unseal large
numbers of documents and pleadings.”
Some details of the PETA lawsuit were revealed in August 2001
by Jeff Stein, military affairs writer for the online news magazine
<www.Salon.com>. Stein reported that covert disruption of PETA and
the Performing Animal Welfare Society was funded by Feld
Entertainment in 1989-1992. Agents employed by Feld and Ringling
through the private security firm Richlin Consultants were reportedly
supervised by Clair E. George, CIA deputy director of operations
from July 1984 through December 1987.
Stolen PETA and PAWS documents, including donor lists, were
shared with the now defunct anti-animal rights group Putting People
First. The infiltrations came to light when now convicted
conspirator Steven Kendall tried to sell details to PAWS founder Pat
Derby.
Derby sued Feld Entertainment in June 2000. Associated Press
reported in March 2001 that Feld settled the PAWS case “by agreeing
to turn over some retired Ringling circus elephants to PAWS and pay
for their care,” adding, “The number of animals and amount of money
provided for their care were not disclosed.”
The Fairfax County Cir-cuit Court in November 2005 entered
judgment against Kendall in the PETA case and set a February 2006
hearing to determine the damages that Kendall is to pay PETA.
“As a result of the judgment,” says the PETA web site,
“Kendall is deemed to have admitted” that “Feld operatives were
aided in the conspiracy by Claire George. Kendall stole a PETA
computer and its files. Feld operatives also stole information and
confidential documents from PETA. Kendall and circus operatives used
illegal means-including extortion, burglaries, theft, and
surveillance-to accomplish their tasks. Kendall has attempted to
blackmail Feld in exchange for his silence about his illegal
activities by demanding that Feld pay him $6 million.”

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