Press-Republican

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January 24, 2014

Michael Staley sentenced to probation, fines

PLATTSBURGH — Michael Staley was sentenced to probation and fines Thursday morning in Plattsburgh City Court for his role in the Northern Puppies crimes.

The sentencing of his wife, Tammy Staley, in City Court today will mark the end of a case that inspired widespread outrage across the North Country.

In November 2013, Mr. Staley pleaded guilty to five counts of animal abandonment, a misdemeanor, for faking a burglary at his wife’s Plattsburgh pet shop, Northern Puppies, taking the 24 puppies in the store and leaving animals in remote locations around Clinton County.

‘REASONABLE AND FAIR’

Wearing a gray pullover fleece and black slacks, he stood before Judge Mark Rogers and beside his attorney, Allan Cruikshank.

Rogers gave Mr. Staley what he said was a “reasonable and fair” sentence of three years of probation.

As part of the sentence, Mr. Staley is required to pay $2,782.65 in restitution and a $500 fee, Rogers said.

Mr. Staley faces two years in jail should he violate the terms of his probation sentence.

“Even though I didn’t get the jail (time) that I asked for, the threat of two consecutive years in County Jail is still hanging over the defendant’s head and will remain there for three years,” Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Jason Marx told the Press-Republican Thursday afternoon.

Marx commended the Plattsburgh City Police Department for their “excellent police work,” which he says gave Mr. Staley no other choice than to plead guilty.

CAN KEEP PETS

The Staleys own two rottweilers and six chinchillas, Marx pointed out in court.

“There is no reason for them to have pets. They are not responsible caretakers,” Marx told the judge. “I want to be crystal clear on this, judge. No breeding.”

“There’s no indication that he’s mistreated his own animals,” Cruikshank said in response.

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