WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - A day after the board fired the executive director of the Niagara County SPCA, he is firing back. John Faso says it's not all his fault.
Faso lost his job over a stunning report of alleged animal abuse at the shelter, but he says he's not the only one to blame. He claims he was deceived about certain things inside the SPCA, such as the way some euthanasias were performed. He acknowledges there were some failures under his watch, but argues the weight isn't his alone to bear.
"There are certainly a lot of things I could have done. However, I have a board who is trying to remove me. They are circumventing my authority, they are poisoning the pool so to speak," contended Faso, adding, "I had three drivers that were off over the summer time, they're cutting my staff, I was plowing snow, I was going on, I was doing all the fundraising, all the printing. I can only do so much."
But so much more was happening that Faso says he had no idea about, including a higher euthanasia rate than what was reported and that some were done using the heart-stick method.
Faso stated, "The vet tech brought me a sheet that said we were putting two animals down and she put down five. I had no inclination that there was anything happening other than what she was telling me and what the vet was telling me. [I was] never tipped off, we never looked at the numbers, the board never asked to look at the numbers. The numbers that I was given I was confident that they were correct."
He also says dealing with the animals was above his pay grade, a salary that totaled $70,000.
"When I went there, I was told I had no responsibility over the treatment of animals. I saw euthanasias, but when I saw them they were done very different. They were done according to guidelines by New York State," asserted Faso.
He says his main focus was fundraising.
"What I was hired to do, I did a good job at," argued Faso. "I raised money, I put the facility back in the black after two years, and I got the facility moving in the right direction."
Attorney Paul Cambria, who represents the board of directors, said, assuming everything Faso said is true, the report speaks for itself and proves Faso was not cut out for this job. A new interim executive director is expected to be named by Wednesday morning.
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