Wednesday, July 16, 2008






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"Accountability involves the measure of whether things have been done as they should by those whose actions are in question. As I take stock of all of the issues affecting animal treatment in our community, I am certain that the law must hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions," said Mayor James Valley from his office in city hall. Mayor Valley explained "Ruby Burton is a wrongdoer and has clearly admitted violations of Arkansas law and now must be brought to justice."

I have signed, and presented to Judge David Henry, a sworn affidavit explaining the course of action taken by Ruby Burton. The relevant portion of the affidavit is set out below:

On or about January 9, 2008 Ruby Burton and others entered city property, located near the St. Francis National Forest on Storm Creek Road and damaged the lock and chain at the city's dog pound. This dog pound is located at the city's landfill as it has been for a number of years. Ruby Burton claims to be with a humane society. However there are no records available to indicate such status. More importantly Ruby Burton has NEVER been authorized by any law enforcement agency in Phillips County Arkansas to take any steps affecting the welfare of any animals in Phillips County. That Ruby Burton removed animals from the city's dog pound without any proper authority or justification to do so. That over the course of time between January 9 and today. Ruby Burton has taken other steps or aided and abetted others in the taking of steps to interfere with local government operations including but not limited to taking dogs from the pound; cutting locks and chains; forcefully coercing city employees to purchase dog kennels, the placement of dog kennels in the midst of the heavy equipment work space at 201 South Sebastian street also known as the Street and Sanitation shop yard. Climbing fences to tamper with the operations and handling of the dogs; driving past do not enter signs at the shop gates; failing and refusing to check in at the sanitation shop office upon entering city property. She's admitted taking these actions in an affidavit sworn to and subscribed before Carolyn Slane on June 16, 2008.

I am thankful to and for the many citizens that have expressed support of me and our city in this matter. I am especially thankful to the citizen who reminded me of the news story entitled "City's 'pound puppies' are in need of homes" published on November 1, 2007 in The Daily World newspaper. It is easy to forget from where we have come. In that article, the city informed the general public of our need for help. The article denotes "Dogs kept at the holding pens at the landfill are in good health but with limited space the city is struggling to keep up with the demand that an ever-increasing stray canine population creates." Additionally, the public was informed "Citizens desiring to help some of these animals can adopt them by calling 572-3421."

Two months later, without enough adoptions to bear mention, Ruby Burton cut the chains at the pound at the landfill and started a quickly chaotic spiral of events. Ruby Burton was not acting as a law enforcement agent when she shut down our pound. Humane Societies can acquire some authority, however, no such authority had been granted to Ruby Burton in Phillips County, Arkansas. Therefore, she clearly violated Arkansas law.

For example:

(a) A person commits the offense of impairing the operation of a vital public facility if . . . the person knowingly causes a substantial interruption or impairment of an operation of a vital public facility by: (1) Damaging the property of another person; or (2) Incapacitating an operator of a vital public facility.

(b) Impairing the operation of a vital public facility is a Class C felony.

Ruby Burton, a private citizen in Phillips County, Arkansas; shut down the city's dog pound; a vital public facility.

She also committed the crimes of commercial burglary, a felony; interfering with government operations, disorderly conduct, and criminal mischief; each of which are misdemeanors. She never tried to communicate with the city's administration prior to her renegade actions in early January. She just appeared like a gang-buster; cut the locks and shut down the pound. She later bragged to the local paper about her actions.

Strangely the conditions at the pound have been questioned. In the November 1, 2007 article in the local paper the dogs were described as in "good health." However when the pound was shut down the January 11-13, 2008 article in the same paper says that the pound was checked in November and the dogs were living in some "really horrible" surroundings.

"I can no longer stand by as the elected leader of this community as Ruby Burton and her cohorts continue" Valley explained. "We all must be accountable for our actions. Blind justice demands that there be no double standard in this case; Burton was out of order and her actions were feloniously criminal," according to Mayor Valley. A judge should find probable cause that a crime was committed in the cutting of the locks on our pound and release of the dogs housed there. A judge should also find that probable cause exists based upon the facts presented in the affidavit that Burton committed other misdemeanors too. Valley pointed out "It is significant and worth mentioning that Ruby Burton admitted her wrongdoing in her sworn affidavit for warrant of arrest for Valley." Valley quipped "Either she committed the crime to which she has admitted or she is committing a crime of false swearing; either way her actions are criminal!"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the record...Ruby Burton was asked via telephone call from a citizen of Helena-West Helena to assist in fixing the conditions at the city dog pound. The citizen tried without avail to do something to help the animals, but did not get any support from the city to do so. Ruby Burton was merely trying to assist in fixing the negligent actions of the city to properly maintain a dog pound. As evident by Mayor Valley's actions in releasing the dogs, he refused to cooperate from day one which has escalated the situation to the level it is now. Had he attempted to "do the right thing", Helena-West Helena would not be getting all the negative media attention and the dogs would be properly cared for. For those of you that hold Mayor Valley in such high regard...why haven't you helped him by adopting the dogs? You really don't like him that much, huh? Enough said.