Threatened With Jail Time, A 'Chicken Outlaw' Takes A Deal
Court orders chickens to fly the coop; Scrappy Coco, Fluffy 1, Fluffy 2 and their yet unnamed feathered friends are on their way to an "undisclosed location."
New Milford 'Chicken Outlaw' Jeff DelVecchio was ordered by a judge Wednesday to get rid of his chickens by March 20th and fined $539 for violating an ordinance that bans raising chickens.
Borough prosecutor Michael Kingman told DelVecchio that his choices were to plead not guilty, go to trial and face fines of up to $500 for every day that he was not in compliance with the law, or to take a plea deal, DelVecchio said.
He said Kingman also threatened jail time if DelVecchio continued to disobey the Board of Health ordinance restricting the keeping of poultry.
DelVecchio took the plea agreement -- a fine of $1000 and 15 days to remove the chickens before further fines are applied. However, when he appeared before Judge Kevin Kelly, the fine was reduced to $539 and he was given until March 20th to remove the chickens.
"I don't think $1000 fine is equitable for only one summons," Judge Kelly told DelVecchio. Kelly then reduced it to $506 with $33 in court fees.
Kelly informed DelVecchio that if the chickens are not removed by March 20th, he will issue a $100 fine every day that he is not in compliance with the Board of Health ordinance.
"I'm happy that the judge let me plead my case," DelVecchio told Patch. "I'll continue to fight the fight. ... I'm still going to pursue a change to the ordinance.
"I'm asking the people of New Milford who support my efforts to write to the Board of Health and let them know that you support this change."
DelVecchio told Patch that Scrappy Coco, Fluffy 1, Fluffy 2 and their nameless friends are currently being relocated to an undisclosed location.