Charges dropped against woman who grew organic garden, but new charges filed

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, July 15, 2011 13:00 EDT
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A Detroit woman who was facing jail time for growing an organic garden in her home’s front yard is no longer in legal jeopardy on that charge, her attorney said this week — but she’s now facing charges on a new “crime”: not having proper licenses for her two dogs.

“This is really nothing other than a personal vendetta against the Basses either because somebody doesn’t like them, or because they had the nerve to fight this unjust prosecution,” Solomon Radner, an attorney for Detroit resident Julie Bass, told reporters Thursday.

After Bass’s story went national thanks to her Facebook page and a torrent of online media, city officials were bombarded by angry phone calls and emails accusing them of all forms of malfeasance for charging the woman with a misdemeanor over her vegetable garden.

“[We] weren’t actually cleared of any wrongdoing,” a post to Bass’s blog said. “[The] charges have not been settled in a way that gives us any assurance at all of them not coming back the second the media spotlight is off of oak park.

“[The] dog charges are, should i say it? – just plain malicious.”

“Based on the games the city has been playing, I would not put it past them to drop the charges just to get the media off their back,” the lawyer reportedly said.

He added that Bass purchased the proper licenses for her dogs in June, after the city ticketed her.

She still faces a potential 93 days of jail time if found guilty for unlicensed animals.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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