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Niagara SPCA Nominating Committee Has Ties to Current Leadership | News

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Niagara SPCA Nominating Committee Has Ties to Current Leadership

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - After allegations some of its animals were unnecessarily being euthanized, the SPCA of Niagara fired its executive director.

Under the watch of the State Attorney General, its board members announced they would hold elections for their seats in May.

The board has just named a committee to nominate new members, and the list has shelter volunteers like Lee Michel, who first complained to the Attorney General, shaking their heads.

"I have questions about how those people were chosen, and where they came from," says Michel.

Three of the seven new committee members have direct ties to the current leadership.

There's Attorney Paul Cambria, whom the current SPCA board has been paying to represent the shelter in the wake of the scandal. There are also two current board members, Russell Petrozzi and Art Jocoy.

Absent from the committee however, is someone representing the shelter volunteers. 2 On Your Side's Aaron Saykin spoke to SPCA Board President Brandy Scrufari.

REPORTER: Why not put a volunteer, who knows all about the organization, selection committee?

SCRUFARI: There was no reason, and no conscious effort not to have a volunteer. We were looking for a cross-section of people from the county for the nominating committee.

"It's once again...we'll just do it our way," says Michel. "We're not going to tell you how we did it. We're not going to tell you what went into doing it. We're just going to do it, and then you can live with it."

REPORTER: Are you concerned people are going to look at this process and they're going to see the attorney for the SPCA on this committee, they're going to see two board members on here, and they're going to say, you know what, more of the same?

SCRUFARI: No. And I'll tell you why. When we met with the Attorneys General office, one of the suggestions was a majority of the members of the committee not be board members.

Scrufari says they kept two board members on the committee for continuity purposes, promising the end result will be a large shake-up and a new beginning from months of controversy.


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