DISTRICT ANIMAL CONTROL
Serving the Towns of Bethany – Orange - Woodbridge
Phone @203) 389-5991
135 Bradley Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
Approved Minutes for DAC Board Meeting January 13, 2011
Present: Joan Blaskey, Joseph Hellauer, Fred Dray, Brian Laubstein, DVM, James Zeoli, Pamela
Absent: Cheryl Lipson
Guests: Jeanine Russo, Chris Carroll, Dina Fleno
Saff: Paul Niedmann, Karen Lombardi Dave Dorso, Gail Evanko, Dottie Bedan
1) Meeting was called to order by Chairperson Blaskey at 7:35 PM.
2) Pledge Of Allegiance was recited.
4) Public Participation: No public participation.
5) Guest Speakers:
a) Tony Genovese explained the financial reports. DAC is on budget. Genovese
suggested that the board come up with a policy and procedure to transfer funds from an
account that has unused money to an account that may need extra money for unexpected
expenses. Motion by Laubstein/Zeoli to accept Genovese report as the treasurer's
report. All approved.
b) John Zdrowski, Eagle Scout from troop 907, explained 2 projects that he is working on
for AARF and DAC. He is building 55 feral cat shelters for AARF. The second project
is a 21x7 over hang for cats to seek shelter at DAC and to repair fencing for dog area at
DAC. He is fundraising and asking for donations. Oxford building supplies has
donated some supplies for the overhang. Zeoli suggested he speak to Henry
Romannofsky at Lowes in Orange. Jeff Stauford is helping with the project. Jeff was a
former Eagle Scout with Troop 907. Motion to support Eagle Scout projects for AARF
and DAC by Zeoli/Laubstein. All approved.
6) Census – Fred Dray: For the month of December, total animals redeemed were 3, 4 sold as pets,
0 DOA, 1 euthanized for a total of 8 animals. In Woodbridge, 3 cats and 1 dog were picked up.
In Bethany, 1 cat and 1 dog were picked up. In Orange, 1 cat and 1 dog were picked up. A total
of 76 complaints, 37 from Orange, 21 from Bethany, and 18 from Woodbridge. One dog bite in
Bethany did not result in an infraction. Currently there are 1 dog and 3 cats at the facility.
7) Discussion of Employee Personnel Matters – Ryan Sheehy, represented by Dina Fleno of
AFSCME, chose to have a Public Executive Session. Zeoli introduced Attorney Michael Dorney
representing DAC. Fleno stated that it is the belief of Sheehy and herself that Sheehy was
suspended following a meeting with Fleno and signing a union card. His suspension and any
further actions were due to an anti union sentiment by the board. There was no infraction, or
infraction was fabricated. Hellauer became aware of a particular violation by Sheehy and went to
the facility to discuss situation with him. Hellauer read a letter of Sheehy's termination dated
January 10, 2011 and that he had the right to appear before the board on January 13, 2011 to
appeal. Hellauer recapped events leading up to Sheehy's termination. Hellauer received a phone
call that the Lead ACO could not get on the computer. Hellauer stated that Sheehy created a
password and made another person administrator. His job title is Animal Care Giver/Kennel
Attendant. His job description is to clean up after the animals, feed the animals and socialize the
animals and did not include access to the computer. No damage was done to computer. Dorney
asked Hellauer to explain the effect this action had on the ability of the department to operate and
why he felt it was necessary to take the action he did. Hellauer explained that ACO's need to
have access to the computer, and non ACO's don't need access to the computer. Fleno asked
where the records for the animals are kept. Niedmann stated that they are in paper files in a file
box. Sheehy told Hellauer that he had started putting animal records into the computer, which he
did without the knowledge of his supervisor. Fleno questioned Niedmann's supervisory position.
Attorney Dorney explained that the business of organization is not at issue at this appeal and that
Niedmann is a supervisor because he is in charge of the operations and staff at the facility. Fleno
stated that Sheehy has always had access to the computer from the first day he was hired.
Attorney Dorney asked Hellauer if he had a conversation with Sheehy as to why he blocked
access by DAC officers. Hellauer stated that Sheehy was asked by Evanko to substitute her as
the administrator so that he could start inputting the medical records. A few days before the
computer incident there was a Vaccination Clinic at the facility. Sheehy was asked to come in at
7:00 AM and did not show up until 9:15 AM. Sheehy is characteristically tardy and is
excessively absent. The action taken was not due to performance, but due to the misuse of the
computer. Fleno asked if there was any documentation of unsatisfactory performance.
Niedmann stated that he had spoken to Sheehy about his tardiness. Niedmann asked Sheehy to
start at 8:00 AM. Sheehy said that he had child care issues and it was mutually agreeable that
Sheehy would start at 9:00 AM. Tardiness had been brought up to Chairperson Blaskey by
Niedmann. Sheehy stated that he had a profile on the computer from the day he was hired. He
also stated that previous employee had access to the computer. Blaskey stated that the previous
employee had a different job description and that job had been eliminated as of October 2010.
Niedmann was asked if he set up an account or gave permission for an account to be set up for
Sheehy. Niedmann stated that he did not. Sheehy was hired as a part- time temporary employee,
until 2 full time ACO and 2 part-time ACO positions were filled. Sheehy stated that he had
never been told he needed to be at the facility at any specific time as long as the animals were
taken care of by 10:00 AM. He stated that he was never spoken to about his tardiness until he
signed his union papers. Zeoli stated that no one on the board was aware that staff had signed
union papers. Zeoli also stated that no one on the board made any anti-union sentiment
statements. Zeoli also brought up a concern that Sheehy adopted a cat, brought it to the vet and
charged DAC for the visits. Sheehy claimed he adopted the cat after the vet visits. An incident
about animals not being taken care of on Christmas day was also a concern. Motion to go into
executive session to deliberate Sheehy's appeal by Zeoli/Laubstein at 9:14 PM. Attorney Dorney
was invited to join the executive session. Return to regular session at 10:20 PM. Laubstein read
the decision of the board. Sheehy would be reinstated as a part-time temporary employee
beginning January 14, 2011. The hours are 8:00 – 10:00 AM Monday through Friday and 8:00
AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday. Three additional hours as needed. Clarity in job duties: Moving
forward, Sheehy will not have access to the computer except to remove medical records and his
profile. Sheehy stated the medical records and profile no longer exist on the computer. Sheehy
will not be paid for during his suspension of January 6, 2011 through January 13, 2011. Job
description will be reworked to match employment status in writing. Incident of Christmas
weekend will be investigated and discussed at another meeting with possible disciplinary action.
Sheehy does not want to come back to work without a job description in writing. Attorney
Dorney stated that Sheehy will not be disciplined until he gets the job description in writing.
Sheehy chose to wait until he gets a job description in writing. Zeoli stated that he will not be
paid until he returns. Laubstein let him know that the job description will be written up and
mailed to him by certified mail. When he receives it in the mail, he should contact Niedmann as
to when he will resume work. Niedmann will notify Blaskey and Hellauer when Sheehy returns
8) Review and approval of December 9, 2010 meeting. Motion by Zeoli/Laubstein to accept
minutes. No discussion, all approved.
9) Motion to adjourn by Zeoli/Laubstein at 10:47 PM. All approved.
10)Meeting adjourned 10:48 PM
Pamela Andreson Approved January 13, 2010