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Pot found growing at animal control
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Dogs and cats were not the only things being cared for at Warren County Animal Control.
Deputies seized 36 marijuana plants that had been growing in a field behind the facility. The plants were hardy, officials say, considering the very hot and extremely dry summer experienced this year.
Tammy Webb, director of Warren County Animal Control, has been put on a two-week paid administrative leave 51 days after taking office. The reason was because her son, Jonathan Ewell Smith, 34, was arrested July 9 for the manufacture, delivery and sale of marijuana which was found growing on county property behind the Animal Control building on Paws Lane.
Smith was caught while working in the marijuana patch by investigators and was taken into custody. The land surrounding Animal Control had been under surveillance following a tip that something other than caring for animals was happening at the property.
Both Webb and her son have denied knowing the plants were growing on county property, even though Smith was reportedly arrested while caring for the plants.
Webb took over administrative duties at Animal Control on Jan. 10, when former director David Hennessee was fired for spraying dogs with a hose in the winter.
Webb was alone at the facility and acted as interim director until she was officially hired as director May 22. Kimberly Pettrey was also hired May 22 as a part-time employee at the center.
Webb was put on paid administrative leave under the advice of county attorney Larry Stanley. County Executive John Pelham told commissioners Stanley advised him Webb was a department head and regardless of whether she knew about the pot, it happened on her watch.
Sources told members of the county Health and Welfare Committee they had seen Webb’s son working and doing odd jobs at the facility numerous times. Smith should not have been working at the facility, Pelham said, since he was not a county employee due to the potential of a lawsuit following a possible injury or animal bite.
More charges may be pending as the case remains under investigation.