The Founder of Tanner’s PAWS, Christie Speciale, who is charged with hate crime, stalking and disorderly conduct, is waiting for a preliminary hearing if charges do not get dismissed after Tuesday’s motion hearing.
Speciale’s counsel Susan Chana Lask, Esq. filed two motions at the Corning City Court Tuesday, one to dismiss all charges and another to disqualify Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker from the case.
“The motion to dismiss is because there are no supporting depositions,” Speciale’s counsel said about the hate crime charge. She said that the alleged victim only complained that Speciale accused him of breeding the dogs and calling it a puppy mill. “He never said anything that she said an Amish puppy mill and he doesn’t even say cursing or any bad words towards him, nothing, so there’s no crime,” Speciale’s counsel said.
During the heated hearing, Baker said the case is not surrounded around “uncomfortable talk about dogs,” he said it was an attack on the people involved physically and verbally because Speciale allegedly followed the alleged victim around using inappropriate terminology. “It’s not free and polite public speech, it’s hate speech,” Baker said.
“Ms. Speciale has the right to be presumed innocent, and she is at this stage, the allegations are before the court, and ultimately, a jury will resolve that question,” Baker said.
The second motion Speciale’s counsel filed was to disqualify Baker from the case.
“He has an inherent bias,” Speciale’s counsel said. “She (Speciale) is the woman that exposed Brooks Baker’s brother-in-law of felony animal abuse.”
In response to Speciale’s counsel filing a motion to remove Baker from the case, Baker said there is an affirmation file that is disturbing and that he did not want to comment.
“The allegations are patently false and disturbing tremendously, that’s something the judge will decide and that’s all I’m going to comment on that issue,” Baker said.
The court issued an order of protection for the alleged victim and four witnesses. The court said it’s standard procedure for every victim and witness to be entitled to an order of protection.
Corning City Court will give a decision on both of the motions by Jan. 8.