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Can anyone say suit-happy?

By rgordon
Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 at 5:51 pm in Uncategorized.

Debi DeNardiAfter their claims were rejected by San Mateo County, two women with an ongoing vendetta against Debi DeNardi (pictured here), the Peninsula Humane Soceity and SPCA’s captain of field services, have taken their beef to San Mateo County Superior Court.

In late December, they each filed a claim against the county – a usual precursor to a lawsuit – which was then predictably rejected by the Board of Supervisors in January after review by the office of the County Counsel.

One claimant is Janet Wherry, who faces a jury trial in April for improper care and keeping of a sheep on her Half Moon Bay ranch that was discovered by the society covered with maggots and open wounds.

The other is Redwood City resident Tammy Doukas, who believes that her dog was wrongly euthanized under DeNardi’s watch at the San Mateo Animal Hospital in August and subsequently filed a claim with the San Mateo Police Department. The investigation was forwarded to the office of the District Attorney, who determined last week that criminal charges were not warranted.

Now, Doukas is suing the county, the Peninsula Humane Society, DeNardi and San Mateo Animal Hospital veterinarian Kim Haddad for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and conversion of property. She is further suing Haddad for professional negligence and the county and the humane society for negligent hiring and retention. DeNardi has come under fire for a felony charge from the’90s of taking nearly $96,000 from her own family’s Floortrends store in San Francisco. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. See related story.

According to humane society spokesman Scott Delucchi, when DeNardi was hired six years ago as an animal control officer, the society paid for a Department of Justice background check and the department reported “a perfectly clean record.”

Besides the same negligent hiring and retention claim against the county and humane society, Wherry is also suing the county, the humane society and DeNardi for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, conversion of property, deprivation of due process, abuse of process and defamation of character.

Doukas and Wherry are represented by San Francisco trial attorney Mark Webb, who deals primarily in medical malpractice and product liability. Webb recently sued Wal-Mart and Dynacraft Industries on behalf of nine children for selling defective bicycles.

Doukas is a neighbor of Jim Knapp, the self-appointed president of the watchdog group Citizens For Accountability, which brought DeNardi’s court history, as well as potential animal code violations at DeNardi’s home in Colma, to light. DeNardi tried to file a restraining order against Knapp, but a judge dismissed it in December.

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3 Responses to “Can anyone say suit-happy?”

  1. James Says:

    DeNardi also lost a SLAPP motion filed by Knapp, whose motion for attorney’s fees seeking $21,000 is pending March 29.

  2. Amy Says:

    what sort of reporting is this? Piss-poor if you ask me. It’s just shouting and spitting, and trying to condemn the only route these women have against an out-of-control, hired gun who’s taken the role of a police agency without any oversight. DeNardi has done quite a bit of damage to the reputation of the PH/SPCA with her attitude and posturing. From placing turkeys in “quality homes where they won’t be dinner” (although ignoring that the poor birds grow too fast for their bones to support them…and they end up miserable cripples by a year old…they’re bred for fast growth, and slaughtering for the consumer), to getting a judge to FINE some woman for having a steer halter on “too tight” (Debi’s determination, no one else’s), seizing animals without a warrant, without due process, and then losing the animals, as well as a myriad of other things. The point is….police have oversight. They have rules they must follow. They are accountable. The PH/SPCA has none. In fact, the grand jury has met before regarding their practices, and there is a law on the books that prohibits an outside agency hired to replace a police agency.
    Do some reporting…this is pathetic. You guys know nothing…it’s quite sad. Maybe get out of the “news business” and try your hand at flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant..

  3. Susan Says:

    Amy S. is really MiMi Smith a long time friend and $%^&* stirer. Amy is MiMi’s 9 year old daughter

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