ARK Animal Rescue Saves Abandoned Dogs & Cats
DeLand FL Staff and Cops Raid ARK 
 Steal Animals & Medicines


Chapter 8 -The Conspiracy Continues the Day After the Hearing

Scene 1 – The Witch Hunt Gains Momentum

Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution: “No person shall be…deprived of…property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution: “...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

November 20 – The West Volusia Beacon headlined “DeLand ARK is open, Maggi Hall says, but city says animals can’t stay at shelter.” “...Support from the community has poured in to ARK following the DeLand Police Department’s search and seizure.... ‘We had $1,000 in donations...and The Muse Book Shop, Abbey and da Vinci will have fundraisers for us....’” The article continued, “Just hours after an agreement between the City of DeLand and ARK was reached...a new dispute erupted.... Darren Elkind said ARK will no longer be allowed to use the restored historic a residence for rescued animals.... Elkind said the practice of using the property to house animals was something that developed over the years, but was never properly permitted. ‘It’s not going to happen anymore,’ Elkind said. ARK’s attorney...disagrees...[the hearing] was not about the zoning of ARK’s property.”[1]

         Elkind didn’t care what the law was as the city never intended to keep the promises made in Court. ARK had a legal right to house animals as stated in its city license for 2012: 1042 – Animal Kennel.[2]

         Two dogs were brought to the Center and a sack of kittens left overnight on the front porch. Hateful blogs from a few crazies continued though thankfully countered by many more true and sane statements.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: [Janice Spencer and Terri Springer were volunteers fired for refusing to follow protocol or cooperate with others.] They marched into the police station to hand over month old emails from Hall thinking that would help the city indict Hall on animal cruelty charges.[3]

         Things were busy the day after the city promised to work with ARK. Matt Adair, Chief Building Official, descended on the Center to investigate the presence of animals. Never having been in the building he was there to shut ARK down if animals were ever on site again. Adair’s officious threat was illegal, his intimidation tiresome.[4]

        The city’s actions caused PetCo, Best Friends Animal Society, and Audubon to break ties with ARK. Kill shelters in Lake, Putnam, Polk, Orange, and Seminole Counties severed ties and began exterminating animals ARK could have saved; the hands of city staffers and ARK detractors dripping in innocent blood. Halifax Humane Society, knowing the truth, never severed ties.[5]

November 22 – Matt Adair just couldn’t stay away and stormed in again, first in the morning then that afternoon, determined to get ARK for something – anything – his threatening buffoonery ignored by volunteers.

November 23 - A registered three page letter arrived at ARK from the city citing numerous building code violations, none legitimate, most silly. There were so many misspelled words and grammatical errors ARK volunteers were amazed at the ignorance; the report an attempt to intimidate.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Erin Gray, the Val-U-Vet employee, in her ten page vindictive and false diatribe listed against ARK, Hall, Dr. Holder, and FloridaWild made observations regarding code violations. So not only was the multi-talented Gray used to evaluate animals, she was called in as a building inspector. )[6]

        No one returned to re-inspect the “serious violations.” Out of curiosity Hall asked a retired fireman to check the building. He noted a “dangerous” complaint was “exposed wiring” leading to a dead phone system. The fireman came away laughing, “You gotta’ be kidding me. Are these people stupid, vicious or just crazy?”[7]

November 25 - The city sent Jennifer Johnson to the street since ARK “overnight” was required to install a sprinkler system if people were to reside on site; never mind the building was zoned commercial not residential. They knew ARK couldn’t afford the ten thousand dollars but the city never had a problem with people living there as long as they were taking in the city’s abandoned animals.[8]

        City officials begin negotiating with Southeast Volusia Animal Shelter, a killing shelter, to take abandoned animals; after all ARK was shut down – illegally – by the city that promised before Judge Green it was going to work with ARK.[9]

        Hall sent an email to animal rescue groups and copied it to the city denigrating the city for its actions against ARK and for breaking the promise in court to work together.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Mean-spirited Elkind emailed Ridgeway the following regarding Hall’s letter: "She only makes herself look crazier when she sends this stuff out. Remember that she was in the paper prior to the hearing stating that she would get all of the animals back.")[10]

November 28 – (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Elkind continued his maliciousness against ARK and Hall, now adding FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital to his agenda. He emailed the following to Pleus, Arrington, Adair, Ridgeway, Henderson, and Holmes:

               There are two things that I believe we need to do with regard to the ARK location....

               1- revoke the BTR. The zoning does not allow an animal kennel at that location. I need

               to consider the process for this and will advise shortly. 2 – we need to have the city

               commission revoke the special exception which was issued to FloridaWild, most notably

               because FloridaWild is not the property owner. Please let me know if there are any

               concerns or objections to undertaking these two tasks.)[11]

        (Evidently there were no concerns or objections as those copied didn’t reply. Elkind wasn’t as savvy as he thought; he didn’t know FloridaWild had a lease agreement with ARK and rented the back building for boarding. Had he tried that maneuver he would have been embarrassed in court.)[12]

        Hall notified the West Volusia Beacon that the city was harassing ARK. (UNKNOWN TO ARK: A reporter emailed a record request for the fire inspector’s report and reports from Matt Adair’s three surprise visits after the hearing. Elkind responded to the reporter: "Matt advised her that they could not be taking in the animals and that he would be back the following day to do a follow up inspection.... As for harassment, I have learned over the enforce the law against a person...that person...will more often than not feel as though they’re being harassed.")[13]

        As noted earlier there were no laws prohibiting ARK from bringing animals into the building. Nothing had changed in two years when the city continued to drop off animals. And again let the reader be reminded that the settlement agreement between the city and Hall was that the city would work with ARK, not against it.

November 29 – Attorney Andrews requested through the county court that the city return the seized medicines and all medical papers.[14]

November 30 – ARK sent a notice of a holiday adoption event for confiscated animals offering to pay $50 to those who’d adopt an ARK cat or dog stolen by DeLand.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: The email was snagged by city officials and sent to the various departments with a comment by Sergeant McWhorter, “Scan a copy into the report and place a copy in the red book as well.”)[15]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: A ten page affidavit for the arrest of Maggi Hall was compiled by Officer Juan Millan stating “unnecessary and intentional suffering by neglect, starvation and failure to provide water and medical attention resulting in animal deaths.”)[16] Every statement Millan wrote was false; he had no proof.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: The affidavit didn’t make it to the judge until March 13, 2013; four months after the city “settled” with ARK and declared the two groups would work together.)[17]

December 3 – A former police detective requested Assistant Manager Arrington investigate claims that since DeLand Animal Hospital vet Deborah Ulbrich said 4x4 cat kennels were mandatory and ARK supposedly didn’t have them, she wanted photographs proving the hospital had what it claimed was legal housing. Arrington ignored the taxpayer’s request.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Arrington forwarded the letter to Sergeant McWhorter who sent to Officer Millan with the order to “log this in our book and into the report system.”)[18]

December 5 (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Officer Daniel Dekoeyer was asked by someone in the police department to make a statement countering Hall’s claim to have been coerced into signing away the rights of 12 dogs. He wrote, “...I observed Maggi Hall willingly signing an animal surrender form...provided....”[19] Michelle Realander told McWhorter who emailed Ridgeway, Henderson, and Batten that “Michelle... vehemently denied Mrs. Hall’s accusation.”) [20]

        ARK was furious to learn one of its dogs “rescued by the City of DeLand” and sent to the Seminole County Animal Shelter was killed. An email went out from Hall blasting the city and the kill shelter. A dozen letters of support came in with complaints going to the city. The dog that was executed was not an aggressive dog; he was a frightened dog. Seminole claimed the opposite of course. [21]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Manager Pleus emailed Chief Ridgeway, “Have you found out what happened to that dog?” Deputy Chief Henderson blathered the excuse that he “chose only shelters that do not use euthanasia for population control.”)[22]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: City officials earnestly initiated a secret plot to prove Maggi Hall abused animals. Darren Elkind began extensive communication with Amy Walker, state’s attorney, copying the messages to Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway, Adair, McWhorter, and Millan:

                  Walker to Elkind: Tell them to proceed as planned [interviews with witnesses].

                  Ridgeway to McWhorter: Coordinate with Darren on this.

                  Elkind to Walker: I spoke with the Police chief this morning following my conversation

                  with you yesterday. He advised me that his officers had already been tasked to conduct

                  the additional interviews that you had requested. We had briefly discussed your

                  investigators doing this, so I wanted to make sure it was ok for the City’s officers to

                  continue with this. Please let me know. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused –

                  I’ll stay out of your way from now on!

                  Walker to Millan: Is your goal to obtain an arrest warrant or for us just to review for possible                         charges?

                  Millan to Walker: We would like for you to review for charges.

                  Walker to Millan: Ok, I currently have a message into the city attorney to find out what,

                  if any, agreements were made at the forfeiture hearing regarding prosecution. I would

                  also like to know what the city’s intension [sic] is regarding the future operation of this place,

                  I was also told that in the past, law enforcement has been told to deliver stray animals

                  there. Do you know if there is any truth to that?

                  If we were to file any charges, I would like a few more interviews done on the people

                  who lived, volunteered there regarding Ms. Hall’s daily interactions with the staff and


                          One last question, do you know if the veterinarian’s office behind ARK is connected

                   to it at all? There is something floating around that the vet there is Ms. Hall’s


                   Millan to McWhorter: FYI.)[23]

December 6 - Detective Sanchez called ARK’s attorney, Tanner Andrews, to inform him the ever-present Karen Clark was at it again. Clark told her friend Gary Thomas, Animal Control Officer, that Daniel Johnson, the “registered sex offender,” was still “living” at the Center.[24] Amazing as by that time no one was living there.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Carolyn, with no last name, emailed Sergeant McWhorter about a Facebook posting Hall was supposed to have made. [Hall never used Facebook though many ARK volunteers did.] McWhorter told Millan to “scan this into the report system and place a copy in the book....”)[25]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Elkind continued communication with Amy Walker, state’s attorney, copying the messages to Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway, Henderson, Adair, McWhorter, and Millan.

                   Walker to Elkind: Can you please fax or email me a copy of Judge Green’s final order?

                   Also is there a reason you did not ask the Judge to enjoin Ms. Hall from possessing

                   animals in the future pursuant to 828.073(4)(c) or was that part of the agreement you


                  Elkind to Walker: We have a hearing scheduled on a hearing for entry of the final order.

                  We will email you the date tomorrow in case that is important for you. I will call you

                   tomorrow to explain the answer to your other question. It was NOT part of the agreement

                   however, other than I did announce that we had not sought that in the petition.)[26]


        The News-Journal declared, “DeLand shelter no longer taking in animals.” “As part of that agreement, City Attorney Darren Elkind said ARK would no longer be allowed to house animals without requesting a special zoning exception. Maggi Hall, the group’s president, disagreed, and the shelter resumed taking in animals.” As noted earlier in the court proceedings there was no mention ARK had to apply for a special zoning exception before it could rescue more animals. The article quoted Manager Pleus as saying the recent inspections were routine, “Somebody told us they were holding animals. We went down there and noticed they had a couple of dogs....”[27]

        Hall hired Erin Thompson after Thompson approached her saying she’d like to assist. Thompson was an attorney with DeLand’s oldest law firm, Landis, Graham, and French. Thompson and Andrews communicated.

                  Thompson: Tanner, I find absolutely nothing to suggest that ARK is currently prohibited

                  from having animals at its primary business location.

                  Andrews: Neither do I. As I see it, we are currently operating under a special exception

                  which allows for boarding of animals at this location. There is a potential problem. It appears

                  from the July reports that the status of the outside boarding of dogs is unclear. At that time

                  they deemed it overlookable ][sic] as there was anticipation that a modified special exception

                  would be applied for. While the City would have a hard time enforcing a bar on outside

                  boarding of dogs, it is not clear that it is unenforceable.

                 Thompson: NOTHING. So could you please demand something in writing from a code

                  no one appears to be willing to go out on a limb and say that the operation is barred. I

                  am sure that, if I push hard enough, I can find someone to give me a writing and force

                  me to litigate over it. That looks to me to be stirring up litigation, multiplying controversies,

                  contrary to the ethics rules.

                          Until they offer something in writing, I have to assume that the special exception

                  works and that the situation is as described in the July inspection reports and the

                  October e-mails. They have surely had plenty of opportunity to deliver a writing. The

                  lack of such is fairly convincing.[28]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Communication continued between Elkind, Amy Walker, state’s attorney, Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway, Henderson, Adair, McWhorter, and Millan.

                   Walker to Millan: When you executed the search warrant, did you guys also collect

                   any of the records that they were keeping on the animals regarding their arrival date,

                   how they came to the shelter or any medical treatment they received while they were

                   there? Thanks again for dropping off your red binder yesterday.

                   Millan to Walker: [Millan’s statements are false regarding records.] During the search

                  warrant, we collected a number of records that did not correspond with the animals

                  that were being housed. The majority of the animals did not have any tags that would

                  help in identifying them and the crates were not numbered to match that on the records.

                  Also most of the records showed to have last been documents [sic] on September 2012,

                  two months prior to the execution of the search warrant.

                         We conducted an interview on two of the volunteers for ARC [sic] Wednesday

                  November 5, 2012 at approximately 1600 hours in an attempt on furthering the

                  investigation. The volunteers provided good information regarding ARC [sic] but refused

                  to go on record due to retaliation concerns.

                         We would like to have Dr. Grey [sic] ACO Realander and officers to meet with you

                  to go over some of the details in this case.

                  Elkind to Walker: [Elkind’s remarks refute Millan] I have all of the records that they

                  produced for the hearing. Many of these relate to how the animals got there and what,

                  if any, treatment they received. I will be happy to forward them to you. Also, there are

                  several well spoken individuals who volunteered at ARK that were prepared to testify

                 at the hearing if I needed them, although they were literally concerned about

                 retaliation. I would be happy to reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to

                 give a statement if you think it is necessary. [Volunteers fired for incompetency or lack

                 of cooperation: Julie Beard, Joe Gilmartin, Janice Spencer, Terri Springer.]

                 Walker to Elkind: Those records are crucial in proving a charge that the animals’

                 conditions are as a result of their lack of care during their time at ARK, as opposed

                 to the animals being brought into the shelter in that condition. We are going to

                 have to prove this animal by animal, so I would appreciate it. [Emphasis added]

                 Elkind to Walker: I can lay that our [sic] for you pretty well as I had prepared to do that

                 or my hearing as well.)[29]

        Michelle Realander theatrically posed with a flashlight for a photo opt for the News-Journal. The sun was shining brightly the day of the raid and the Center had more than adequate lighting.[30] But more importantly the cat in the photo had an id tag around its neck; all cats did. Dogs wore collars with a taped ID around the collar numbered to coincide with the specific animal’s medical chart on the kitchen wall. For obvious reasons the photo never made it to court. All animals were identified yet city officials and Darren Elkind claimed otherwise.

December 7(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Carolyn emailed Sergeant McWhorter again regarding Hall.[31]

Word got out that Hall was going to “send in under cover” volunteers to check on the animals. City staff emailed each other about the possibility and thought they should “warn” the shelters, evidently worried at what volunteers might find.[32]

        The police wrote a report regarding ARK’s adopt day at the Center and noted “there were dogs at this location. I arrived on scene and observed several dogs in the back of a dark colored SUV....” The report goes on to describe minute details of the adoption event.)[33]

December 12 – Three dogs were moved from the West Volusia Humane Society to “Pet Rescue by Judy” in Sanford. They called ARK for medical records but were told the city confiscated them. City officials cared so little about the dogs they not only did not take the medical reports with them, Gary Thomas, animal control officer, produced an unprofessional document to deliver with the dogs.[34]

        Attorney Andrews wrote Hall, “Darren has offered no reason for not returning either meds or records. I suspect therefore that this is either arbitrary or intended to injure the animals but can offer no evidence as to which may be the base. Certainly the entire lack of effort to unite critters and records shows a lack of concern for the animals. The refusal to return the records to a group which presumably would do the work for the city suggests outright hostility toward the animals. However, I know enough of government to figure laziness on their part is at least as likely as hostility.”[35]

        Hall wrote Carol Coleman, staff employee at the Seminole County kill shelter, telling her ARK would adopt its dogs and didn’t want any more killed. Hall also wrote since the city confiscated the medical records she’d need to call Michelle Realander.[36] Coleman didn’t respond which was no surprise to ARK; the shelter was less than professional and caring. .

        ARK volunteers visited the kill shelter and rescued K9, an ARK dog, paying the $10 fee. The shelter had no idea who the adopter was and didn’t ask for references. That’s how unprofessional the place is. Kasey Benson freed K9 who was then adopted (below).

December 13 (UNKNOWN TO ARK: An email between Elkind, Pleus, and Ridgeway revealed the contempt they had for Hall, ARK, and its animals.

                    Elkind to Staff: You have to let me do the following–I want to take a still picture of this

                   dog in the cage standing in its own urine, and put it next to this picture as the dog is

                   today. Below it will be a note showing how the city saved this dog and how well it is now

                   doing. Since I don’t charge to read her crazy emails, I won’t charge for this of course.

                   Ridgeway to Staff: Don’t disseminate further but I thought it was clever.)[37]

December 17(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Ridgeway emailed Pleus, “FYI, Darren called me this past Saturday to say they were there [ARK’s Center] with animals on property again.”)[38]

December 19(UNKNOWN TO ARK:

                   Sergeant McWhorter noted HIGH IMPORTANCE at 1:08pm when emailing Adair,

                   Realander, Henderson, Batten, Elkind, and Ridgeway: In addition to yesterday’s

                   complaint from “paddiepoochie” I received a voice mail complaint from Lisa Blanks

                   complaining that ARK is continuing to operate in violation of her agreement. I spoke

                   with Mrs. Banks and thanked her for her concern in the matter and assured her it would 

                   be looked into. She can be reached at 407.694.3830. I have the message saved, if you require 

                   a copy let me know and I will get it to you.[39] [Banks and “paddiepoochie” had no connection 

                   to ARK.]

                   Sergeant McWhorter noted HIGH IMPORTANCE at 1:22pm emailing Adair,

                   Realander, Henderson, Batten, Elkind, and Ridgeway: I just spoke with Michelle,

                   who reported Dale told her and Matt to “Wait until we see what happens with the

                   charges at the State Attorney’s office before we do anything.”

                           I have three documented complaints against ARK operating in violation of her agreement 

                   with the City. [There was NEVER AN AGREEMENT] If we fail to act like

                   we did recently, we are going to be behind the ball again and unnecessarily I might

                   add. Mrs. Blank expressed frustration over the perception of the City not taking immediate

                   action against ARK. I respectfully suggest we treat ARK like anybody else and follow

                   through with investigating any and all complaints.

                          Our actions are now only being carefully monitored by ARK but our citizens as well,

                   Failure to follow through and investigate complaints lodged by citizens against ARK could

                   send the wrong message and damage hard earned public support.)[40] 

December 21 - Daniel Johnson won his legal battle. “...FDLE has determined that you do not meet the requirement to register in Florida as a sexual offender....” His name was removed from Florida’s Sex Offender List. Fear of retaliation from the City of DeLand caused Johnson not to pursue a lawsuit against the city for discrimination and false arrest. Intimidation works in DeLand Florida. The Johnsons had already fled.[41]

December 27(UNKNOWN TO ARK: More emails flew between attorneys Elkind and Walker.

                  Walker to Elkind: It was my understanding you were going to have the animal

                  records matched up to the animals so we could determine when each animal

                  arrived at the shelter, what condition they were in when they arrived, and what

                  if any vet treatment they received while they were there. [Emphasis added] Also,

                  you had said you would get sworn statements from Dr. McPhail and Dr. Ulbrecht

                  (not sure if their names are spelled correctly), regarding the condition of the animals

                  they received and treated. We are also in need of sworn statements from the following

                  people that were referenced in the materials provided by DeLand Police Department:

                  Julie Beard, Terri Springer, and Janice Spencer. We are interested in both their

                  knowledge of the condition of the facility and animals and the degree that Maggi Hall’s

                  daily involvement in the care of the facility and animals.

                        Also, we have a sworn statement from Janice [sic, Jo] Gilmartin dated November 9.

                  It says at the end that she would be happy to provide more details. If you could have

                  someone get additional information from her in the form of a sworn statement regarding

                  how often she was there and what her knowledge is of Maggi Hall’s daily involvement, that 

                  would be helpful.

                        Our office will set up an interview with Jennifer Johnson. Most likely we will do this

                  after we get copies of the animal records and a copy of her diary.

                  Elkind to Walker: I will give you a call regarding the records. I have completed that

                  review and will share with you my findings. On all of the other, I can confirm that the

                  DeLand police department will get those statements for you. Regarding Jennifer Johnson’s

                  diary, if you do not have that, please let me know and I will get a copy over to you asap.

                  Thanks for all of your time and effort on this.

                 Walker to Elkind: I don’t have a copy of her diary, I would need that.

                 Elkind to Walker: I’ll drop a copy in the mail to you, can you provide me your mailing

                 address please.)[42]


        ARK attorney Erin Thompson received a detailed letter from Darren Elkind attempting to justify the special zoning exception for the indoor boarding of animals: "...since Florida Wild [sic] no longer owns the property, I have recommended that the City go through the formality of actually rescinding the special exception. As your client is aware, the property cannot currently be used to operate a kennel, or for any other purpose which involves having animals on site. ARK did open up for operation immediately following the hearing in November, but the City’s code enforcement department immediately notified them of the violation and they got rid of the two dogs.... With the exception of entry of a final order in the animal seizure case, and disposition of a not very well taken (in my opinion) motion filed by the former attorney for ARK, there is no pending litigation...."[43]

        No pending litigation Elkind wrote yet the city anxiously attempted to get the goods on Hall. The letter goes on to complain about ARK holding adoption events on site. Once again Elkind showed no respect for truth.

        Thompson then met with Elkind and was swayed by the “evidence” he “supposedly” had against Hall though no proof was given Thompson. Hall fired Thompson after her visit with Elkind as it appeared Elkind won her over. Such is life in a small town. Thompson’s cost for doing nothing - $2,000.[44] Public records indicated a year later that Elkind, in fact, had absolutely no emails or proof of anything. 

[1] West Volusia Beacon, 11.20.12

[2] City of DeLand Business Tax Receipt, 1047 – Animal Kennel, 2012

[3] DeLand Police Narrative, Gary Thomas, 11.20.12

[4] Interview with Hall, Jennifer Johnson, and Andrews, 11.20.12

[5] Email from Miguel Abi-hassan to Hall, 3.18.13

[6] Fire report from City of DeLand Fire Department, 11.27.12

[7] Reported by Miller to Hall, 11.24.12

[8] “For one woman, ARK is a welcome home,” West Volusia Beacon, 11.26.12

[9] Email from Henderson to Pleus and Elkind, 11.27.12

[10] Email from Hall to City Hall and emails from Elkind to Ridgeway copied to Batten and McWhorter, 11.26.12

[11] Email to city staff from Elkind, 11.28.12

[12] Lease agreement between ARK and FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital, 1.1.09

[13] Emails between Elkind and Jen Horton, reporter, 11.28.12

[14] In the county court of the 7th Judicial Circuit, Volusia Co, FL, 11.29.12

[15] Email sent to city by ARK, 11.30.12

[16] 7th Judicial Circuit 707 Charging Affidavit-Volusia, 11.30.12

[17] Ibid.

[18] Letter from Billie Jo Harder to Arrington who forwarded to Batten, 12.3.12

[19] Email from Dekoeyer to McWhorter and forwarded to Millan, 12.5.12

[20] Emails between McWhorter, Ridgeway, Batten, and Henderson, 12.5.12

[21] Email from Hall to City Hall, 12.5.12

[22] Emails between Ridgeway, Henderson, and Pleus, 12.5.12

[23] Emails between Walker, Elkind, Ridgeway, Millan, and McWhorter 12.5.12

[24] Email to Hall from Andrews, 12.6.12

[25] Email from Carolyn to McWhorter, 12.5.12

[26] Emails between Walker and Elkind, 12.6,12

[27] “DeLand shelter no longer taking in animals,” News-Journal, 12.6.12

[28] Emails between Andrews and Thompson, 12.6.12

[29] Emails between Elkind, Walker, Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway, Henderson, Adair, McWhorter, and Millan, 12.6.12

[30] “DeLand police seize 126 animals at shelter,” News-Journal, 11.9.12

[31] Email from Carolyn to McWhorter, 12.7.12

[32] Emails between McWhorter, Henderson, Elkind, and Batten, 12.7.12

[33] DeLand Police Department incident report, Bruce Dolphin, 12.8.12

[34] Interview with Hall, 11.8.12

[35] Email from Andrews to Hall, 12.12.12

[36] Letter to Coleman, Seminole Co. Animal Services from Hall, 11.12.12

[37] Email from Elkind to city staff and Ridgeway’s reply, 12.13.12

[38] Email from Ridgeway to Pleus, 12.17.12

[39] Email from McWhorter to Adair, Realander, Henderson, Batten, Elkind, and Ridgeway, 12.19.12

[40] Ibid.

[41] Letter from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to Daniel Johnson, 12.21.12

[42] Emails between Elkind and Walker, 12.27.12

[43] Ibid.

[44] In conversation with Hall, 1.14.13

Top Row L-R: Sergeant Greg McWhorter , Michelle Realander w/ cat that has id neck tag though in all documents police said no animals were labeled, plenty of lighting in building but Realander used a flashlight for the media; K9 stolen by city to be killed at Seminole Co, rescued by ARK and adopted; Terri Springer, Janice Spencer had plenty to say with no proof

Below L-R: Attorney Darren Elkind continued diligently to get Maggi Hall arrested for animal cruelty. Dale Arrington, Assistant City Manager kept up constant stream of emails between staff and police regarding ARK and Hall; March 18, 2013, four months after destroying ARK, the city broke ground for its multi-million dollar bus station adjacent to ARK's former Center (the project completely surrounds property owned by FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital LLC; February 7 2014 Mayor Robert Apgar cut the ribbon on the grand opening of the bus station. Hall was sent a formal invitation because she served on the design committee.  

Scene 3 – 2013: A New Year Begins - The Witch Hunt Intensifies

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

January 4 – Tanner Andrews emailed Hall regarding the taking of private property and the protection under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. He discussed the city and state failed to properly and legally bring charges in a timely fashion, stating the corps had effectively been taken into custody.

        Andrews wanted the state to charge Hall with animal cruelty and Hall agreed. As Andrews pointed out: “The worse problem is that the trial would be a huge humiliation for the City because ARK would surely call up [a] Realander, to explain what changed [b] Sanchez, to explain about her dishonest statements [c] Henderson, to show that they knew that raid was improper [d] the vets, to show that City provided lesser standard of care than ARK [e] Thomas, to show nepotistic assignment of critters to West Volusia Humane [f] Elkind for two or three kinds of impeachment: "There is also the problem of spoliation of evidence. The critters are the best evidence, and they were turned over and placed in the state’s custody, so obviously the state would be charged with their maintenance until trial. [Emphasis added]

        I cannot imagine anyone being crazy enough to bring criminal charges on the current set of facts. Such a case would be pure circus. Sure, I’d enjoy it, but we do not multiply litigation in order to amuse lawyers.”[1] [Emphasis added]

January 10(UNKNOWN TO ARK: DeLand Animal Hospital vets, Deborah Ulbrich and Thomas MacPhail, wrote an outrageous two page report against ARK, the condition of the animals they received, then went off on a tirade of falsehoods against Hall, her daughter, Dr. Erin Holder, and FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital. They signed their diatribe under oath and in the presence of Officer T. Petrella.)[2] Lying under oath is a felony.

        Then they had the gall to post on ARK’s Facebook page that ”We donated of our veterinary services, care, boarding and even waived the adoption fee. It was our way of helping these animals. It is our sincere hope that you understand that there was no hidden agenda – we simply wanted to help. We are not taking sides....”[3] More lies.      

       As FDR said, “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.” Deborah Ulbrich and Thomas MacPhail received $4,140.00 from DeLand’s taxpayers for their “donation of 100% for their generous help;” paid within a week of the raid. They wasted no time in sending a bill to the city for their “free” services.[4]

January 17(UNKNOWN TO ARK: The case against ARK was closed. ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the animals which were seized by the Petitioner...are remanded to the custody of the City of DeLand to be disposed of as the City sees fit, and the Animal Rescue Konsortium shall have no further interest in or to said animals.”)[5]

        The ORDER wasn’t what was agreed upon nor read in open Court and ARK wasn’t sent a copy of the order. Judge Green also decided she didn’t have jurisdiction to give ARK’s medicines and medical paperwork back.[6]

January 18 – ARK announced an adoption event Saturday. (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Jo Gilmartin received the announcement and refusing to give up, forwarded it to the police.)[7]

January 22(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Amy Walker, state’s attorney, was still trying after almost two months to get copies of ARK’s animal records.

                Walker to Elkind: Have you guys made any progress on matching up the animal records

                seized from ARK with any particular animal?)[8]

January 23 – A woman called ARK to report Gary Thomas, animal control officer, told her if the dog she found didn’t have an owner “it would be ‘put down.’” ARK emailed DeLand officials that Thomas’ statement had better not be true.[9]

January 24(UNKNOWN TO ARK: This was a busy day for espionage by the city and its spies. Refusing to give up, Janice Spencer, a fired volunteer wrote a three page narrative of the awful things volunteers and Hall had done.[10]

        Julie Beard, former Executive Director encouraged to resign, reared her head to bite ARK. In her email she wrote, “Good evening Officer Petrella. I appreciate you stopping by today to follow up on the statement for the Ark case. After great consideration, I am going to abstain from submitting a formal statement.... ...[I] fear for the safety of my animals...[Emphasis added]... there were some shady characters around Ark and they are well aware of my residence [No one knew where she lived]. I firmly believe there are several people available who can substantiate the same findings that I would have presented. My personal apologies but the risk is too great....”)[11]

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: Elkind emailed Amy Walker, state’s attorney, regarding Beard. “I do not know Ms. Beard personally, she is regarded within the community as being a rational, intelligent and honest person....”[12]

                   Elkind to Walker: ...As it turns out, they really weren’t keeping records like they should

                   have. In fact, one of the primary witnesses stated that there was no record keeping and

                   that she had tried to institute some basic form of record keeping. I think it was after she

                   left that it really went down hill. In fact, it was reported to me that these witnesses will say

                   that the conditions were deplorable, and that animals would come in healthy and then get


                      I do have records that show particular animals came in healthy and then got sick.

                   However, we have no way of specifically proving that these animals were any of the

                   really disgusting looking ones we can see on the video. [Emphasis added. Evidently

                          Elkind had another video Hall and ARK’s attorney never saw; there were no “disgusting”

                   Animals at ARK or in any photos or videos taken. Elkind had trouble telling the truth.]

                  This is, as I understand it, a result of the lack of record keeping that would normally

                  be done in a properly run facility. I realize that this may make the difference between

                  misdemeanor and felony charges as you explained the law, but I went through it and the

                  records are just so bad or non-existent that there is no way to even identify particular

                  cats by name.)”[13]


        Contrary to Elkind’s email ARK kept exceptional records; Hall saw to that. Photos reveal pegs for clipboards for dogs and schedule boards for treatment; cat clipboards in baskets at the entrance to their rooms or hanging on their cages.[14] ARK had a file for every animal that came through the door, the type of treatment needed, a surrender form signed by owners, location where animals were found, and animals’ condition on entry.

        Medical paperwork was confiscated by city officials and never made it into Court; to have arrived in Court would have proven ARK was doing exactly what it was required to do by the state. The only thing ARK received back from the confiscation, dozens of empty clipboards.

        After adoption each animal had a manila folder with a copy of all paperwork including medical reports, surrender and adoption forms. These too were seized by the city and never returned.

        Since the city confiscated in-house medical, surrender, and adopt records it was convenient to say ARK kept no records. Forget the fact that ARK’s attorney, Tanner Andrews, brought a huge stack of papers with him to the hearing to refute Elkind’s claim. But again the truth didn’t matter to Elkind.

February 4(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Jo Gilmartin was at it again sending to the police seven pages of “proof” as she continued to scramble to prove Hall of animal abuse.)[15]

February 11 – ARK’s attorney, Tanner Andrews, reported to Hall that Jennifer Johnson, former ARK Center tenant, was questioned by the state’s attorney. Andrews noted, “It is you and ARK [the city wants]. I may have mentioned before that they would have to be crazy to go to trial on their set of facts.... You think the first case was a circus? Wait for the jury trial in the criminal proceedings if they are enthusiastic enough to bring it.”[16] [Emphasis added]

        Hall and Andrews were hoping the city would move on an indictment; Andrews mentioned “circus” and truly it would have been, but then the truth would finally come out in Court and Hall would not “settle” this time.

        (UNKNOWN TO ARK: The state’s attorney still attempted to get copies of the confiscated reports,

                  Walker to Elkind: It appears that inspection reports for October and November

                  2012 were placed into evidence. The only time I have relating to an October

                  inspection is some emails from the code enforcement officers that appear to have

                  been generated in response to a complaint made by Ms. Hall regarding the inspection.

                  I don’t have any inspection report for November. Can you please provide me these

                  reports as well as documentation of whatever Ms. Hall reported as a result of the

                  October inspection.

                  Elkind to Walker: I’ll get those for you.)[17]


        The “reports” in question were ARK’s Building and Pet Inspection Weekly Reports. But again, those reports didn’t show up in Court because they would prove ARK kept excellent reports.[18]

February 13(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Emails went back and forth between Elkind and Walker as they talked in circles. There were no reports because Elkind didn’t want to supply Walker with the confiscated medical record reports. It would prove ARK was, in fact, taking care of the animals and that there were no written reports to Hall or ARK volunteers about animal care and condition of the building from the city. In other words, Walker was attempting to get “proof” of neglect and abuse. None were forthcoming from Elkind because he had no proof of neglect and abuse.

                  Elkind to Walker: Attached are the October and November inspection reports.... There

                  weren’t many inspections. I did notice, however, that the person signing/initialing the

                  inspections was Maggi Hall. The reports appear to be the only documentation regarding

                  the results of the inspections.

                 Walker to Elkind: When code enforcement went to ARK on Oct 24 to conduct an inspection,

                 did they generate any sort of report?

                 Elkind to Walker: There are two emails which are really memos regarding the inspections

                 from the two code inspectors who did the inspection 10/24/12. I am obtaining those for you.

                 I should have them for you tomorrow, but certainly by the end of the week.

                 Walker to Elkind: ...I was wondering if it was their protocol to generate any sort of report or

                 document their findings when they do any sort of inspection. Also, it seems from the tenor

                 of the emails that they were done in response to some complaint that Ms. Hall had about the

                 way they were done or something that may have happened during the inspection. If my

                 guess is correct, do you have any documentation regarding Ms. Hall’s complaint. Was it


                 Elkind to Walker: Ms. Hall complains about everything, but I did not glean from the emails

                 that they were in response to any complaint by her. [Walker was alluding to written complaints

                 by Hall against the city for harassment October 24. Her complaints unnerved city officials

                 as revealed in an earlier entry.]

                 Walker to Elkind: Please see Mark Ellison’s email dated Oct 24, 2013 at 3:03pm to Matt

                 Adair. It appears clear to me that Ms. Hall complained about something to someone.

                 Elkind to Walker: The email you have from Michelle Realander is simply the body of her

                 notes put into an email, verbatim. No formal report is generated unless the case is taken

                 to the code enforcement special magistrate. Obviously given the exigent circumstances in

                 this case, we rescued the animals rather than going to special magistrate to impose a lien.)[19]


        There it is in black and white, written by City Attorney Darren Elkind: “...we rescued the animals rather than going to special magistrate.... yet Michelle Realander, animal control officer wrote ARK’s animals didn’t need to be confiscated.

February 14(UNKNOWN TO ARK: McWhorter located Hall’s email accusing the city of harassment.

                   McWhorter to Adair, Elkind, Ridgeway, Henderson, Petrella: T.J., Check to see

                   if this e-mail thread is in our file and then take a copy of this to Amy first thing please.

                   Adair to McWhorter, Elkind, Ridgeway, Henderson, Petrella: Thank you Greg.)[20]

 February 27 – An email from Hall went out to ARK volunteers: “Two small dogs thrown over the 6 ft fence at ARK. One has his little shirt on, about 10 weeks old. Both at FloridaWild. Please contact Kim Eastin asap. (UNKNOWN TO ARK: The email landed with Manager Pleus and Chief Ridgeway. Ridgeway noted to an underling to file it away in the “binder” for “evidence.” [This relaying of  information was done by Karen Clark of We Help Animals. She surely didn’t want to “help animals” considering the damage she’d done and continued to attempt; her hatred stunning.”][21]

March 18(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Knowing there was no evidence to indict Hall, Pleus, Arrington, Adair, and Ridgeway refused to give up, consumed with revenge. It angered them ARK held adoption events at its Center.

                   Pleus to Arrington, Adair, Ridgeway, Elkind: Dale: Please have meeting with

                   Darren and Bill on weekend adoptions at ARK when you return. We need to

                   decide what we are going to do there.

                   Arrington to Pleus, Adair, Ridgeway, Elkind: I have talked to Bill, Matt, Darren

                  about this. We do not believe that this is occurring anymore, therefore there is no

                  action to be taken. We will monitor progress and activities, but have not received

                  any recent complaints.

                  Elkind to Arrington, Pleus, Adair, Ridgeway: To be clear, I have no idea whether

                   it is happening or not (because I am usually working on some assignment for Dale

                  on Saturdays), but I assumed when we spoke that they were still doing it.

                  Pleus to Elkind, Arrington, Adair, Ridgeway: Should we verify that it is not?

                  Elkind to Pleus, Arrington, Adair, Ridgeway: Yes, I think you should have to drive

                  by at least twice every Saturday for the next month!

                  Adair to Elkind, Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway: Who?

                  Elkind to Adair, Pleus, Arrington, Ridgeway: The person who asked the question –


                   Arrington to Elkind, Adair, Pleus, Ridgeway, Mike Holmes: I spoke to Charles Paiva 

                   [city commissioner] who is the person who asked Michael about this. Charles indicated that 

                   his wife saw an adoption event being held on the front porch and parking lot either this past 

                   weekend, or the weekend before that; and he knows that they have had at least one other dog 

                   adoption event a while ago. He feels like they are taunting us by flaunting their bad 

                   behavior. [Emphasis added. Bad behavior? ARK had a legal right to continue to use that                                              property for anything it wanted! Paiva should know about bad behavior. As for bad

                   behavior Paiva knew all about that. He was accused of fondling a high school student. 

                   The case was eventually dropped which often happens when you know the right people. 

                   He was suspended during the investigation but ultimately quit.] [22]

                       Charles indicated that he believed all the cages were kept outside, and removed

                   by mid afternoon. I looked on line and found that they had advertised an adoption

                   event on Craig’s list [sic] for Saturday, March 2.

                          In talking to Mike Holmes and Matt – I learned ARK intended to close the ARK

                   business and that Florida Wild [sic] was planning on opening a new pet accessory store

                   in the ARK location. I think in order to figure out what the violation is we need to know if

                   this has happened yet? Has the ARK BTR been closed or a new one applied for?

                          If they are having dog adoption events out there-What do we say they are in

                   violation of? They aren’t exactly conducting their previous business that we

                   shut down, [Emphasis added; Arrington placed in writing the city did shut ARK

                   down in opposition to Elkind’s statement in Court.] Maybe they are having an event

                   that is not allowed? And do we treat similar type events sponsored by other NFP’s

                   occurring in front of other businesses in a similar manner? Bill [Chief Ridgeway]

                   indicated that there was a shot clinic in front of the Dollar General this past weekend.

                           Charles said that he understood that there were some questions we needed to

                   discuss and he is not pushing the issue. He thinks we should have good legal

                   grounds to stand on before we take action. [Emphasis added]

                          So could we find out about the BTR’s and about what violation would be occurring? 

                   Should we also canvas other stores on US 17-92 for similar violations? All advice is appreciated.

                   Ridgeway to Arrington, Elkind, Pleus, Holmes, Grebosz: Just my thoughts, I do

                   not think that we should take any enforcement action against anyone holding one

                   day adoption or vaccination events. I see them at other locations throughout the

                   year within the city and think that they are good for the community. I’m not aware

                   of any state law that they violate but they may be not in compliance with a code

                   ordinance or special event requirement that we have as a city. I think MG [Mike

                   Grebosz] or Matt could better answer those questions. If those types of events are

                   in violation I suggest we look at how we could properly sanction or approve them

                   through an ordinance or policy change.

                   Adair to Ridgeway, Arrington, Elkind, Pleus, Holmes, Grebosz: I concur with Bill.

                   Arrington to Ridgeway, Adair, Holmes, Grebosz: I tried calling. I think everyone

                   is busy or out. Give me a call when you get a chance.[23]


        Arrington’s remark that she thinks “everyone is busy or out” was true. They were next door to ARK’s old Rescue Center. Four months after the raid and thirteen years of dallying DeLand broke ground on its multi-million dollar bus station adjacent to ARK’s former Animal Rescue Center.

        US Congressman John Mica spoke: “’No project should take this long. It’s an inspiration,’ he began to say, before his speech to the small group of officials was interrupted by the sound of barking dogs from the adjacent animal hospital [FloridaWild]. ‘Even the dogs are upset about how long it took,’ he quipped, sparking laughter.”[24]

March 19(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Officers Trinity Petrella and Juan Millan were sent on a fishing expedition to interview former homeless Center tenants, Jim Brown and wife Christine Springer. [The officers’ questions were leading to the point of being a joke. [Brown and his companion were angry when they had to move from the Center after the raid because they were caught stealing. Brown enjoyed testifying for the officers but when he was on the witness stand during the hearing he was decorous and truthful; alone with the police he was anything but – even saying he saw Daniel “kick a dog to death.” That was ludicrous but imagine how the officers felt being able to jot that down. There was no truth in that and nothing in their testimony could indict Hall for animal cruelty.] )[25]

March 20(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Off went Petrella and Millan again – this time to seek the “truth” from Jennifer Johnson now living in Orange City. All they came away with was that her husband, off the sex offender’s list, had a job in south Florida AND that any time an animal got sick Dr. Erin Holder would come over to check the animal or Johnson would take the sick one to FloridaWild next door. Question after question, tricking and trying – but all those officers got was that ARK took good care of its animals and kept the records to prove it. Their interview was ludicrous and desperate, obviously encouraged by Darren Elkind and city staff.)[26]

April 1 - (UNKNOWN TO ARK: More communications and covert operations consumed city staff.

                    Arrington to Elkind: I head [sic] you did a “fabulous” job last night. I also thought

                    that you would want to know that Scott came in today to pick up copies of everybody’s

                    outdoor café licenses. We do not know what he has planned. [Scott Price, former commissioner, 

                    was being harassed by the city concerning his downtown business.]

                       Did you ever reach Dr. Holder to ask her to not allow adoption events on

                    her newly acquired property that was previously ARK? [Emphasis added; Hall’s

                    daughter, owner of FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital.]

                    Elkind to Arrington: No, I will call this week. I assume nothing has changed and I am

                    still ok to call her.

                    Arrington to Elkind: I assume so. I was not in town this week, when I drove by on

                    Sunday there were no adoptions occurring.)[27]

April 28 – ARK’s Vice President, Linda Claussen, wrote Judge Shirley Green requesting a copy of the “supposed” settlement agreed upon at the hearing November 18, 2011, five months earlier.[28] Judge Green sent a copy of Claussen’s letter to Darren Elkind.[29]

May 5Thomas MacPhail, owner of DeLand Animal Hospital, husband to Deborah Ulbrich, both of whom testified against ARK at the hearing, was reported to the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine for improper veterinary practice. At his hearing he was given six months’ probation, fined $2,000, and required to take five hours of continuing education. A state’s attorney boarded her dog at their facility; the dog died and records in the computer were changed to indicate otherwise. The attorney filed charges and won.[30]

        When someone wrote a google review about the vets Ulbrich responded that the case had been dismissed.[31] A truth check on Ulbrich’s statement to the attorney who tried the case, Elizabeth Henderson, proved once again that Ulbrich has trouble separating fact from fiction. The case was NOT dismissed.[32]

        The DeLand Animal Hospital vets posted on ARK’s Facebook page that “...we wanted to let you know that so far we adopted out 20 of the 22 animals that the city...brought us.... We donated 100% of our veterinary services, care, boarding and even waived the adoption fee. It was our way of helping these animals. It is our sincere hope that you understand that there was no hidden agenda-we simply wanted to help. We are not taking sides....”[33]      Once again they strayed from the truth by failing to mention the city paid them over $4,000.[34]

May 6(UNKNOWN TO ARK: Determined not to give up on getting ARK, Assistant Manager Arrington and city staffers were emailing each other again after Evelyn Bearden sent a Craigslist alert to Deputy Chief Henderson regarding ARK adopting from the Center.

                    Henderson to Arrington: Just FYI. I saw this and thought you should know. I have no

                    idea whether this is ok or not. You can see that it was posted 5-3-2013.

                    Arrington to Henderson, Elkind: Bill and I discussed this about a month ago. We

                    decided not to move forward in taking code enforcement action against these occasional

                    events because we have other groups doing the same or similar things (there was a shot

                    clinic in the CVS parking lot this Saturday as well.)

                          Because ARK does this more weekends than not, Darren was going to discuss this

                    with Erin Holder and let her know that it was not legal to use her parking lot for this

                    purpose. [Emphasis added] By copy of this e-mail I am asking advise [sic] to let us know

                    how the conversation went.)[35] [ARK volunteers didn’t know a Bearden and assumed it

                    was a fictitious name.]

May 8Judge Green responded to ARK’s Vice President that “it does not indicate that the Petitioner was provided a copy...also attaching a copy of the order entered.... I do not have any additional information concerning the matters discussed during the mediation conference and indeed the court is prohibited from being privy to those discussions. The order was approved by the attorneys for both sides....”[36]

        ARK never received a copy until its vice president requested one from Judge Green. The order did not follow the agreed upon decision between both parties behind closed doors at the hearing.

May 30 – Dr. Holder wrote a letter to kill shelters stating, “At no time did I find any animals in any state of abuse or neglect. In fact my hospital was adjacent to ARK’s Rescue Center. Animals were often abandoned at their facility ill and dying. And every time the animal would be sent to me or to Altamonte Veterinary Hospital in Altamonte for medical treatment.”[37]

June 24 – DeLand Animal Hospital was voted in the News-Journal, as “Best in the West.” Jim Jarrell wrote the News-Journal notifying the paper that the hospital was anything but “The Best” especially since Thomas MacPhail was on probation for falsifying records. He copied his letter to area veterinarians. He received no response from the newspaper.[38]

July 2 - A veterinarian responded to Jarrell’s email. “I thought you should be aware that Deland Animal Hospital posted on their Facebook home page a link to vote for Best in the West contest and those individuals submitting votes would automatically be entered in a drawing for $100 gift certificate. According to the News-Journal Best of the West Rules of June 9, 2013 edition ‘The News-Journal reserves the right to disqualify any business engaged in any form of ballot stuffing or any practice which offers a reader an inducement or other consideration in exchange for casting a vote in the poll.’”[39]

        Jarrell again wrote the News-Journal but the paper didn’t respond and DeLand Animal Hospital continued to display its “Best in the West” banner.[40]

July 11 – Hall emailed Chief Ridgeway regarding the city refusing to pick up stray dogs and take to Second Chance as several people called ARK to complain. Once again people were afraid to call the police direct if a complaint was about the police. Ridgeway wrote to Deputy Chief Batten clarifying the position.[41]

August 1 – Almost a year after the raid supporters attempted a fundraiser for ARK organized by H & R Unlimited. Businesses and individuals refused to support ARK or return messages left on their answering machines; that’s how much damage the City of DeLand and its “informants” did to ARK.[42] In fact, Google ARK or Maggi Hall and the computer pops with negativity.

        A dozen committed to supporting ARK but the bowling alley cancelled the event, fearful of retaliation promised by threatening phone calls.[43]

August 5 DeLand signed a contract with the Southeast Humane Society to haul its abandoned animals to their death. The cost to the taxpayers would be approximately $85 per animal taken to its facility. With ARK’s Center closed DeLand again became a killing field for God’s innocent creatures.[44] The city refused expert advice from the Director of the Halifax Humane Society. Saving abandoned animals and taxpayers’ money was ignored once again by city hall. It’s far easier to kill than rescue.

August 25 – William Shipp emailed Hall about Shiloh, the dog ARK saved from the city’s Second Chance facility and Manager Pleus raved about at the commission meeting two weeks prior to the raid. “Shiloh is doing great. As I write this he jumped up on the couch and is laying where I usually sit so I reckon I’m on the floor until he moves. I am so glad ARK saved him so I could adopt him.”[45] That is one of numerous “thanks” ARK continues to receive. Those working at ARK or adopted from ARK knew the truth.

October 1 – State’s Attorney, Amy Walker, notified the city it “Declined” to pursue the “Felony Cruelty to Animals” charge against Margaret S Hall. [46] The only “proof” DeLand city staff had were fabricated after the fact videos and testimony from fired vindictive ARK volunteers, paid city hall thugs, and veterinarians who had reasons for personal gain. Hall received the following from state attorney Walker who’d tried for months to get the city to send PROOF OF CRUELTY: “The State of Florida...announces and hereby files a No information or intent not to prosecute with respect to the following charge(s): FELONY CRUELTY TO ANIMALS[47]

October 28 A few weeks later the city retaliated against Hall’s daughter who owned FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital and recently opened The Funky Mutt Market in ARK’s former center. Mark Ellison, code enforcer who wrote complaints against ARK attempting to substantial animal abuse, strolled into The Funky Mutt and said to the receptionist, “I’m glad I don’t have to give this to Maggi Hall” then handed her a citation for FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital LLC for displaying “illegal banners.”[48] The guy couldn’t even get his facts straight; Hall didn’t own the building.

November 4 When the city sent Dr. Holder a NOTICE OF HEARING to appear in court Hall decided to prove the city was harassing her daughter. She started at the north end of DeLand on Woodland Boulevard and drove from Walmart down to The Funky Mutt Market she counted over 50 banners including the two commercial buildings across the street from The Funky Mutt, Stetson University, and two churches.[49] Hall then requested public records to substantiate what she already knew: Not one of the 50+ businesses were cited; NONE EXCEPT THE FUNKY MUTT MARKET.[50]

November 5 Dr. Holder hired attorney Matt Thompson who requested from the city a copy of its codes. The city by then had received the public record request from Hall and called Thompson to say that The Funky Mutt Market was in compliance so Holder and Thompson needn’t appear in court. That’s not how code violations are conducted. The city backed down realizing this time it wasn’t going to get away with its mafia-style behavior.[51]

Scene 2 – 2014: A New Year Begins - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - GONE

                                    "Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”  ---Abraham Lincoln, 1864

February 7 – Hall was sent a formal invitation to the “Ribbon Cutting & Dedication of the DeLand Intermodal Transportation Facility” since she’d served on the project design committee. As an award winning historic preservationist she requested the station replicate the Arts and Crafts architectural features present on her families’ adjacent five buildings including ARK’s former Center. The architect and city staff agreed.

After Mayor Apgar and US Congressman John Mica spoke (Above), the ribbon was cut. It took thirteen years to initiate the multi-million dollar project that was BEGUN within weeks of the annihilation of ARK’s Center. A coincidence? We think not.

        At the completion of the ceremony, Hall, sporting an ARK T-Shirt, was walking toward her car when Assistant Manager Dale Arrington literally ran after her.

        “Maggi, I just want you to know that this design was made because of your suggestions,” Arrington said.

Hall replied, “Yes Dale, I know, I was on the committee; I remember well.” She then turned and walked away.[1] No apology was forthcoming from Arrington.

        The city could never prove animal cruelty because it didn’t exist. The city could never prove Daniel Johnson lived at ARK’s Center because he didn’t. Yet so desperate for ARK’s property city officials attempted for over a year to destroy ARK and Hall, denying Hall her rights under the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. And attempting by any means possible to enact the

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Law.

        Who approved the illicit raid? Manager Michael Pleus? Assistant Manager Dale Arrington? Police Chief Bill Ridgeway? Matt Adair? Darren Elkind? It doesn’t matter. City staffers listed in this story are culpable; Commissioners are culpable. All should be removed from office. Those filing false statements against ARK and Hall are partners in corruption. They must live with their lies.

        DeLand’s staff and commissioners continue practicing Machiavellian Tactics against those they hate, silencing and intimidating. When new faces attempted to run for mayor and city commissioners in 2014, their bid for public office was squashed by DeLand’s paid mafia - the staff, commissioners, and newspapers. No way were people not deeply associated with city officials ever going to break into the “Crony Capitalism Club;” no one except Jessica Davis, whose husband served several years in jail for armed robbery and is on probation for 10 years. Mario Davis, a convicted felon, serves on DeLand’s Economic Development Board.[2]

        DeLand’s Police Department continues to come under scrutiny as one after another illegal or unethical and bizarre incident occurs with no consequences for the department.

To DeLand’s staff, commissioners, and police:

“Political power is everything. The end justifies the means.

However unscrupulous, attain the upper hand even if that

means deception, treachery, and lies. For the true

Machiavellian, every action relates to this goal:

all associations, all conversations, all friendships and

activities are devoted to accomplishing this end....”

--Sir Anthony Parkhurst, Principall Navigations, 1589

GONE: The City’s Corrupt Plan Partially Accomplished

        Hall’s shrewd remark October 2011 to Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington and Arrington’s reply proved accurate: “Dale, I think there’s a conspiracy against ARK” to which Arrington agreed, “Maggi, I think you may be right.”

        DeLand’s bus station is finished – minus a terminal office for Greyhound - thus making inexpensive mass transit unavailable for DeLand residents. For obvious reasons the City of DeLand was unable to confiscate ARK’s Rescue Center. It is now a successful pet boutique, The Funky Mutt Market, where ARK continues its successful adoptions though city officials harassed the new property owner on several occasions.

        However the most shocking comment continues to ring loudly with those who know what’s happening behind the scenes in DeLand Florida. Spewing from the self-righteous Voice of DeLand City Hall, Attorney Darren Elkind, in a phone conversation to a downtown merchant after the hearing against ARK warned:

“If you ever harbor a sex offender you’ll get into trouble, too.”

        Alas, the city’s behavior goes much deeper and more frightening than its illicit and cruel raid on ARK’s Animals as its alarming behavior continues to the present - unchecked.

"Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

--Baron Bulwer T. Lytton, 1839

[1] In conversation with Hall, 2.7.14

[2] State of Florida vs Mario Davis, Case #: 2010 003927, 11.19.10