From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Huntingdon drops PETA suit
Huntingdon Laboratories in mid-December dropped a
federal suit against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
and undercover investigator Michele Rokke, 31, who after four
years of undercover work has reportedly left PETA and returned
home to Minnesota. In early July 1997, PETA disclosed videotape
Rokke took of alleged abuse of monkeys during tests performed at
a Huntingdon facility in New Jersey under contract to Procter &
G a m b l e. P&G immediately suspended and later discontinued all
dealings with Huntingdon. The videotape came from about 50
hours of clandestine taping that Rokke did while working as a
Huntingdon animal care technician. Rokke had also taken copies
of as many as 8,000 pages of documents. Huntingdon charged
about two weeks after the PETA disclosed the alleged abuses that
Rokke had violated a confidentiality clause she signed when she
was hired, suing under a law that would have allowed the firm to
collect triple damages if successful in prosecuting the case.

According to Washington Post reporter Peter Carlson,
“Huntingdon abruptly agreed to drop the suit in return for a
promise by PETA not to infiltrate the company again for at least
five years or to publicize its charges against it.” Carlson quoted
Rokke as stating that PETA paid no financial penalties.
ASPCA pays for bird bust
Columbia University professor of clinical social work
Renee Solomon, 66, of New York City, has reportedly received
“considerably more” from the American SPCA in settlement of a
$4 million damage suit than the $50,000 she received earlier from
codefendents Leonard and Elly Epstein. Solomon claimed that in
February 1992 she was unjustly arrested and humiliated by former
ASPCA officer Jose Hernandez, who arrested her in her campus
office for allegedly killing songbirds with a sticky substance she
applied to her window ledge to keep pigeons away. She was later
charged with cruelty and––for purportedly kicking Hernandez––
misdemeanor assault, but the charges were dropped due to lack of
evidence. Solomon held that Hernandez acted as requet of the
Epsteins, who reportedly fed pigeons from their balcony and,
Solomon argued, were ASPCA high donors. Neither the ASPCA
nor the Epsteins admitted either wrongdoing or conspiracy, according
to The New York Times and Associated Press.
Cuyahoga deer killing delayed
Attorneys for Cleveland Metroparks and In Defense
of Deer agreed on December 23, 1997 to postpone litigating the
legality of a plan to shoot 100 deer in the Cuyahoga Valley until at
least September 21. By then a federal court ruling is expected in a
parallel case pertaining to a National Park Service plan to shoot
470 deer in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. In
Washington D.C., U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman o n
December 10 granted a preliminary injunction suspending the plan
to In Defense of Deer, Ohioans for Animal Rights, the Fund for
Animals, Animal Protection Institute, and Humane Society of
the U.S., who jointly allege that the plan was improperly advanced
without an impact statement, and that it represents a management
policy change, away from wildlife protection, made without adequate
scientific review and public comment.
Hindi alleges legal misconduct
Chicago attorneys Rick and Judith Halprin, acting
for Chicago Animal Rights Coalition founder Steve Hindi, on
November 12, 1997 alleged to the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in
McHenry County, Illinois, that attorney Lou Bruno c o m m i t t e d
“errors of constitutional magnitude” in representing Hindi during
November 1996. McHenry County Judge James Franz o n
November 6, 1996 convicted Hindi of contempt of court for
protesting two days earlier outside the Woodstock Hunt Club in
Woodstock, Illinois. Woodstock Hunt Club owner Earl Johnson
had sued Hindi for allegedly crippling his business by flying a
paraglider between hunters and oncoming flocks of Canada geese,
causing the geese to change course. Two other protesters were also
sued. Franz granted Johnson an injunction against Hindi and the
other plaintiffs, but the injunction had not been served on Hindi
before the protest for which he was convicted of contempt. Hindi
was told about the injunction by the other defendants and their
attorney, Richard D. Grossman, Bruno’s partner, who was representing
them. Hindi and other witnesses have testified that
Grossman said a ground-based protest using megaphones would
probably not violate the injunction. According to the Halprins’
suit, “Bruno refused and failed to present the defense of reliance
upon advice of attorney Grossman…in order to protest their common
interests at the expense of his client.” Hindi served 21 days of
a six-month sentence for the contempt conviction, the last 16 of
them on a hunger strike, before being released on appeal. If the
conviction stands, Hindi also faces six months in jail for allegedly
violating the terms of an April 1996 sentence for being a nonhunter
in a hunting area, in an unrelated anti-hunting protest. For
that offense he paid a fine of $50. The Woodstock Hunt Club
closed, permanently, when owner Johnson died soon after Hindi
began his hunger strike.
Activist accused of extortion
Chad Kister, 27, of Athens, Ohio, identified by the
Akron Beacon-Journal as “a spokesman for the Ohio University
Campus Greens,” was charged with extortion on December 6 for
allegedly soliciting and accepting $1,750 from United Mine
Workers Local 1340 president Don Nunley. Nunley reportedly
told Athens County Sheriff David Redecker and prosecutor
William Biddlestone that Kister sought the money in exchange for
a promise to keep activists away from upcoming hearings on plans
by Buckingham Coal Co. to open mines in Athens and Perry
counties. They outfitted Nunley with a remote transmitting device
that enabled sheriff’s deputies to monitor the conversation as the
money changed hands. Kister was arrested immediately afterward.
Kister told Mike Lafferty of the Columbus Dispatch that he was
framed, claiming a call Nunley placed to the Buckeye Forest
Council before they met would support his story. BFC campaign
coordinator Matt Peters told Lafferty only that Nunley had left a
message on the office answering machine asking for Kister, saying
Kister’s attorney had asked that BFC disclose no further details.
Two weeks before his arrest, Kister reported the destruction of
beaver dams by York Township in Athens County to the U . S .
Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps of Engineers ordered that
the work be halted, as it might harm protected wetlands.

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