Protester threatened with charges

2012-06-11T20:04:00Z Protester threatened with chargesBy Susan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | A woman opposing the firing of a longtime employee of the Lake County Sheriff's Animal Adoption Center reported receiving a call Monday from the sheirff's investigations division regarding charges being filed against her.

Georgianna Rogers, of unincorporated Lake County, said the female caller, who did not identify herself, told her harrassment charges had been filed against her for threatening personnel. Rogers said she was told not to call animal control again.

Patti Van Til, public information officer for the sheriff's department, said there is an ongoing investigation but no charges have been filed at this time.

"I was more shocked than anything," Rogers said of failing to take the caller's name.

Rogers said there was a heated exchange with the woman during which she denied threatening anyone.

Rogers said the unidentified caller made no specific mention of the protests spawned by last week's firing of Victoria Beasley, the popular longtime community liaison to the animal shelter.

Lake Sheriff John Buncich said Friday that Beasley was dismissed for cause.

Beasley said she was told she was terminated for not following a direct order to return a family of pit bulls to their owners. The parents of eight puppies had been found chained to two trees without food and water in 90-degree weather, Beasley said.

Beasley disputes a warrant was needed to take the dogs as contended by the sheriff's attorney, John Bushemi, who last week declined to discuss the question.

In addition to their presence on online social network site, Facebook, protesters of Beasley's firing picketed a Buncich fundraiser Saturday in Griffith to raise funds for the shelter.

Rogers said another protest is being planned for Saturday in Crown Point.

Monday's call from the sheriff's department is perceived as a way to stop the protests, she said.

"We're not going away," Rogers said.

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