Trumbull County Deputy Dog Warden Charles Parks was placed on unpaid administrative leave Wednesday afternoon during a Trumbull County Commissioners meeting.

A motion to place Parks on unpaid leave was passed 2-1. Commissioner Niki Frenchko voted in opposition to this ruling, basing her stance on precedent, and claimed the motion was called improperly as the warden's name was not used in the motion.

The issue was not originally on the agenda for the Commissioners' meeting but was added to the end, as the issue was brought up during public discussion.

Parks was charged with two counts of deprivation of food and water to a companion animal and two counts of animal cruelty in Warren Municipal Court Tuesday.

The charges are second-degree misdemeanors, but Parks could face up to 90 days in jail if convicted.

Park will be back in court on Sept. 9 in Judge Terry Ivanchak's court.

A press release from The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County Humane Department stated that the department had recently investigated alleged dog neglect occurring at the Trumbull County Dog Warden facility.

AWL Humane Agents investigated the matter after receiving a complaint from the Executive Dog Warden for Trumbull County. The statement from Lorilyn Shandor, Chief Executive Officer for AWL of Trumbull County, reads:

The investigation involved an allegation that a currently employed Deputy Dog Warden failed to provide necessary care to the dogs housed at the kennel on at least two dates when he was the sole employee tasked with providing this care. Because of the employee and volunteer schedules at the Dog Warden facility, this meant that the dogs would have allegedly been without food, water, medication, and other care for at least 48 hours.

After reviewing records and hours of surveillance footage, Agents conducted interviews with witnesses and the suspect. As a result of this investigation, the Humane Department determined that a violation of law had occurred, and four criminal charges of animal neglect were filed on August 29, 2022, in the Warren Municipal Court.

It is a crime to fail to provide a dog with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water where it could reasonably be expected that the dog would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation and to fail to provide other necessary care. These charges are second-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750.00 fine. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

WFMJ News reached Charles Parks, who said he will be pleading not guilty. He had no other comments at the time.

The deadline to administer progressive action may have passed. Parks is represented by AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.