Augusta County Board of Supervisors' Closed Meeting: Keeping Secrets Amid Criminal Allegations
Written by: Sam Orlando
AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA - The Augusta County Board of Supervisors has unexpectedly scheduled a special, closed-door meeting for Friday morning. Sources suggest that the focus of the session is an ongoing dispute involving some board members' frustrations with Wayne District Supervisor Scott Seaton, and his speaking publicly about allegedly illegal civil fees imposed by Augusta County on local animal owners.
Despite the meeting being closed to the public, many community members, deeply concerned about these controversial animal "ransom fees" as labeled by Supervisor Seaton, plan to be present.
Dr. Scott Seaton has been advocating for the scrutiny of these animal shelter fees, maintaining that they lack backing from local ordinances. At a recent Board meeting, Seaton challenged County Administrator Timothy Fitzgerald to openly discuss the legality of these fees and compared them to a "ransom".
This closed-door meeting comes in the wake of a shocking incident involving a dog named Annabelle, who ended up at a county animal shelter after escaping a house fire. Unable to afford the fees, Annabelle's owner, Jessica Evans, was convinced to surrender her dog. She intended to pay the fees and retrieve the dog after receiving her next paycheck, which the county personnel assured her she'd be able to do. Shockingly, Annabelle was euthanized quickly by county staff before she could do so.
Seaton has argued that if the allegedly illegal fees had not been levied, Annabelle would still be alive today. The cruelty of killing a beloved pet who had the fortune of escaping a house fire because of a ransom fee is difficult for many county residents to understand, and many of them plan to demand answers.
The special session is slated to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Augusta County Government Center. The Board has indicated that the meeting will be held behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters. Breaking Through News will provide further updates on this rapidly unfolding story.