CORNING - The attorney representing Christie Speciale, who was accused in late September of allegedly targeting the Amish for dog abuse, asked Corning City Judge Mathew McCarthy Tuesday morning to dismiss the charges.
Speciale is charged with disorderly conduct, fourth-degree stalking and second-degree harassment.
Susan Chana Lask, an attorney representing Speciale, who has said her client is innocent, feels all of the charges must be dismissed.
McCarthy said he will reserve on any court motions Tuesday to give Steuben County Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah S. King time to review the document Lask submitted. The case will return to Corning City Court at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 20.
Lask was critical of Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker moments after Tuesday's court session during an interview with media in front of City Hall.
“(Baker) was very angry in a message (to me), and he said this is going to be a significant case,” Lask said. “He thought he was going to be the big district attorney taking down this nice little girl, like he was doing something good, when he is actually doing something very bad.”
“This is not an animal rights issue,” Baker said. “This is how Speciale chose to express her concerns about those people, and the fact that when she singles out a group, in this case it's the Amish, she can’t do that. That’s wrong.
“This is about her behavior. This is not about her opposition to puppy mills.”
Lask called Speciale, a Corning City dog warden and founder and owner of Tanner's P.A.W.S., very knowledgeable of animal rights and animal laws.
“When she saw a man pulling a small red wagon filled with six-week-old puppies, in poor condition, with a for sale sign she approached the man,” Lask said. “They were asking $450 per puppy and law prohibits selling dogs under eight weeks old.”
Never once did Speciale speak to the man because he is Amish or his family is Amish.
“I’ll join her in saying that puppy mills are a terrible thing,” Baker said. “This is not about animal rights. This is about her choice to speak inappropriate. You can not attack people because they are a part of an identifiable religions based group. That’s what she did.”
Lask said Speciale never threatened anyone at the late September Harvest Festival event.
“She never would,” Lasks said. “I’m going to fight this for months, if he doesn’t dismiss the (case). He’s going to cost this town millions. If he keeps doing this with her I don’t think he’s going to have a job for too long.”
Baker said fundamentally Lask can threaten him all she wants.
“We try cases in the courthouse not on the courthouse steps,” Baker said. “As far as the merits of the case are concerned, threatening my job, threatening to sue people people don’t convince us anything.”
Lask said the charges were raised by Baker because he has some type of personal issue with Speciale.
“I have never met Speciale,” Baker said. “To accuse me of having some personal vendetta against her is totally false.”