Apparent Corruption Results in Closing of NJ SPCA Chapter

In October the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took the extraordinary step of ordering its Hunterdon County chapter to shut down over revelations that came about due to the manslaughter trial of former NBA star Jayson Williams.

Williams was ultimately acquitted of aggravated manslaughter charges, but convicted of attempting to cover up the fatal shooting of a limousine driver. The jury deadlocked on charges of reckless manslaughter, and Williams is scheduled to be retried on that charge in 2005.

One of the revelations that was barred from being entered into evidence was that Williams had shot and killed his dog after losing a bet with a teammate about the dog’s effectiveness as a guard dog (for more details on that incident, see this story).

That raised the question of why Williams had never been prosecuted for animal cruelty, and the evidence pointed to corruption. Two weeks after the August 2001 shooting of the rottweiler, the Hunterdon County SPCA accepted a $500 donation from Williams and no criminal charges were ever filed against him. The New Jersey SPCA has subsequently filed civil charges against Williams, which is its only option since the statute of limitations on the dog shooting has long since expired.

New Jersey SPCA president Stuart Rhodes told the Associated Press that Hunterdon SPCA executive director never replied to letters he sent asking her to explain her failure to prosecute Williams,,

I was looking for her [Carlson] to explain reasons why she didn’t prosecute Jayson Williams. She should have at least entered the charges. But by doing nothing, she allowed him to walk. And then you accept a donation?


SPCA closes chapter in ex-NBA star’s case. The Associated Press, October 11, 2004.

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