This story is almost unbelievable.
First, some background.
Back on March 27, Jeromie Williams, the Director of Operations for Pet Pardons Canada, created a ChipIn account to raise money (purportedly) to help support the rescue over 25 Huskies from a dog sledding company owner in Quebec. Donors were promised that “On the ground for the rescue will be Jeromie Williams, the Managing Editor for the Pet Pardons News & Blog, making sure that every dollar raised tonight goes as far as it can.”
How did that work out? Well, the ChipIn was quite successful, raising $6,180.84 (USD). The problem is that the husky rescuers have apparently had to spend their valuable time seeking these funds, as Jeromie first transferred nothing, and then, only grudgingly, transferred $4,000, in four $1,000 increments. After the USD-CDN conversion, that apparently leaves something like $1,800 remaining.
The rescuers, who have outstanding debts of about $1,500 from the operation, A third party started a Facebook group and online petition to encourage Jeromie to do the right thing and transfer the remaining funds.
Regular readers of this blog know that Jeromie Williams has a long and well-documented history of ChipIn scams. Nor would they be surprised to learn that Jeromie’s response was to harass the animal rescue group, leaving threatening voicemail for their members, which they subsequently posted online.
- “Legal action” against one of the animal rescuers for “illegal wire tapping, falsifying an illegal recording, misrepresenting a non profit organization and distributing personal information and slander”; and
- To smear a Quebec Husky business owner in the media.
Here’s the full text:
Now, this is amusing for several reasons.
First, as far as anyone can tell, by “wire tapping,” Jeromie is referring to animal rescuers simply recording his voicemail and/or telephone conversations between the rescuers and Jeromie. This is not “illegal wire tapping,” in which a third party tapes a private conversation. In Canada, and most US states, it is perfectly legal for one party to a conversation to tape it, without the other party’s knowledge or consent. What is amusing about this is that Jeromie himself does this, or at least claims to do this. Either he is lying about taping his conversations with Kim Johnston, or he is lying about the animal rescuers’ “illegal wire tapping,” or he falsely but honestly thinks what they did (and what he did) is (a) wire tapping and (b) illegal. In other words, either he’s a liar or he thinks he broke the law by taping his calls to Kim Johnston. We don’t really care at this point.
Second, it’s quite odd for Jeromie to berate the animal rescue group (OSD) for supposedly misrepresenting themselves as a non-profit group on Facebook, when they have lost $1,500 on their rescue operation, and Jeromie is (simultaneously) sending them photos of the $1,800 he raised for them but refuses to transfer. As I noted above, donors were promised that “every dollar” would be turned over. So, really, who is misrepresenting themselves here?
Third, as we have explained to Jeromie many times previously, it is not a crime, or even wrong civilly, to publish accurate information about him. Truth is an absolute defense to charges of libel or slander. We would like to remind Jeromie, however, that if he continues to publish lies about OSD and others, accusing them of killing puppies and the like, that may in fact constitute actionable slander. If Jeromie won’t give up the $1,800 voluntarily, this is just another option for them to consider.
UPDATE: The requirement that an OSD representative meet with Jeromie Williams indicates that this is just not a serious offer, as some of Jeromie’s apologists are now pretending. As the Pet Advocates Network rightly notes in the comments, “Why would the woman he just threatened with implied violence ever meet with him?” As another OSD member notes, police visited the home of their representative following Jeromie’s many threats, and they told her to have “no contact with him on any level, let alone in person.” Good advice. And since Jeromie knew OSD members would never put themselves in danger to meet with him, all he was doing was cooking up another facade of an excuse to justify him keeping their $1,800.
UPDATE 2: Note that the OSD group did not start the OSD ChipIn Facebook group. So in demanding that OSD shut it down, Jeromie was demanding that they do something they had no ability to do.