Criminal charges dismissed against president of Rockland animal shelter

The prosecution moved to ultimately dismiss charges against Hi-Tor President Debbie DiBernardo.

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2022, 9:26 PM

Updated 576 days ago

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Criminal charges have been dismissed against the president of an animal shelter in Rockland County, just as jury selection was set to begin Thursday.
The prosecution moved to ultimately dismiss charges against Hi-Tor President Debbie DiBernardo.
As News 12 reported in January, a Rockland grand jury indicted DiBernardo on 17 counts of falsifying business records and one count of offering a false instrument for filing while serving as the animal shelter's president.
The prosecution moved Wednesday to dismiss the charges and keep the case sealed as long as DiBernardo does not get arrested for six months.
While Damiani says the prosecutors did not say why they made that move, he's argued in court that his client did not go against the county contract when the facility took in kittens from New Jersey.
"The contract did not prevent Hi-Tor from taking animals from New Jersey or anywhere else out of the area. In fact, they're a compassionate group and that's what their job was," says Gerard Damiani, DiBernardo's attorney.
He says his client intends to continue helping the animals at the facility in Pomona.
"Bottom line is this gives her an opportunity to get on with her life personally and get back to the work of Hi-Tor. I mean she's a volunteer. All of these board members are volunteers. They don't get a dime for any of the time they spend," said Damiani.
News 12 has not heard back from the Rockland County District Attorney's Office for comment.


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