Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who put the "no" in Nova Scotia? My December 2010 Memo to HRM Prosecutor Katherine Salsman

I  met with Ms. Salsman for three hours in early December, 2010 - exactly five years ago -  to offer five possible options for Brindi, in return for me pleading guilty and paying fines on three offences HRM graciously charged me for one incident, even though that incident happened by mistake and led to no "measurable harm" as they say.

By then HRM had been holding Brindi for nearly three months - again. HRM by-law thugs (sorry, but they were) had also evicted me from my home unlawfully, and Dawn Sloane and other members of Council refused to allow me my right of appeal. So my cat Amelia and I were essentially homeless. 

Two friends came with me to that meeting. It was Ms. Salsman who declared that the meeting was not a negotiation because she refused to negotiate. I said fine, I will talk, and you will listen! And since it wasn't a negotiation then there was no obligation for confidentiality. This was clear. 

Ms. Salsman, with an alarming air of authority (not to say belligerence) for someone so recently out of law school, vetoed every single offer. When I asked to talk with her superior, she thoroughly blocked that idea.

My friends and I went home. Or rather, I left, and they went home. I tried not to lose my mind. I wrote up what we each said in a memo and sent it to her about a week later. She wrote back insisting on confidentiality after the fact, even threatened various consequences. Too late.

So this is the memo. 

December 14, 2010

Dear Ms. Salsman:

Here is a summary of your position and points you expressed last Friday in our meeting and in
other conversations and documents since October.

• HRM is seeking guilty verdicts on one or more of three charges solely for the purpose of
obtaining a court order to kill Brindi.

• You rejected my offer to plead guilty on all three charges in exchange for Brindi’s return and
stated that HRM plans to ask for one dollar fines and seek a court order to destroy my dog.

• Under no circumstances will you, as HRM prosecutor,

1. Release Brindi pending trial, even on a bond as high as $10,000, which I offered.
2. Let her go to a foster home pending trial.
3. Drop the HRM request to put Brindi down.
4. Let her go back with me to the States (or anywhere else) permanently.
5. Let her go to another owner, either here or anywhere else.
6. Make or accept any offer for me to get her back and keep her alive.
• HRM will return Brindi only if ordered to [do so] by a court.

With regard to your goal as prosecutor, you stated further that:

• Under the law, you are not required to show any grounds for putting Brindi down,* though
you concede no reasonable court will order destruction of life without sufficiently compelling