Squirrel rescuer rejects plea deal

Maria Vaccarella squirellsFreehold Township- Maria Vaccarella, the Howell woman who was threatened with a $1000 fine and six months in jail for rescuing two baby squirrels, rejected a plea deal of a $35 court costs and a suspended fine that was offered by Township Prosecutor Anthony Vecchio this afternoon.

Vaccarella and her pro-bono attorney, animal rights lawyer Doris Lin, showed up unannounced in Freehold Township Municipal Court to ask Vecchio to dismiss the summons that Fish and Wildlife officials mailed to Vaccarella after they took the squirrels she cared for after they were abandoned by their mother.  The case, which was transferred to Freehold from Howell Township because of a conflict, was originally scheduled for January 27th.

Vecchio told MoreMonmouthMusings that he thought the suspended fine and court cost would be a fair way to resolve the case that has received nationwide attention.  He said the case would be transferred back to Howell for litigation.

Lin said she would challenge the charges as being unconstitutionally vague, not a circumstance that the legislature intended to punish and a waste of the Division and Fish and Wildlife’s resources.

Vaccerella told MMM that she would not plea guilty under any circumstances. “I did you are supposed to do. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not going to say I did” she said. Vaccerella said she would go to jail rather than pay a fine.

Posted: January 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Squirrel rescuer rejects plea deal”

  1. Vecchio is a criminal extortionist said at 10:14 pm on January 20th, 2016:

    Vecchio is a thug. Pushes a baseless non crime on someone then claims fair to extort $35. Every government employee involved in this case should be fired immediately and charged with extortion at a minimum, official misconduct too. Keep up the good fight until this idio Vecchio drops the charges, resigns, agrees to never take another government job, and personally refunds taxpayers for every dollar wasted on this non case.

  2. Tom Stokes said at 10:25 pm on January 20th, 2016:

    What a waste of taxpayers’ monies!

    Some of these prosecutors and bureaucrats should be thrown in jail themselves and the keys lost.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  3. Lenore Frame said at 7:30 am on January 22nd, 2016:

    Wow I understand that you need a special permit in Jersey to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife but still why persecute this woman. How about providing her with the resources to contact someone who has this permit and could have helped her with the squirrels. Shame on Howell and Freehold Townships!

  4. Maria Vaccarella said at 10:14 am on January 22nd, 2016:

    We need more resources or let people like myself that are willing to put our time in helping get a permit under NJ wildlife rehabbers