The York County District Attorney’s Office says it will notify police departments of upcoming trials so they’re not surprised by rulings, as Buxton police were by a plea deal in March involving two kennel owners who were accused of animal cruelty.

Buxton Police Chief Michael Grovo and state veterinarian Christine Fraser publicly criticized the District Attorney’s Office in March for striking a lenient deal with John and Heidi Frasca, owners of J’aime Kennel in Buxton, and not asking for input from his department.

Grovo said in a news release that he met with District Attorney Kathryn Slattery and Assistant District Attorney John Connelly, who agreed that they should have made police aware of the deal. The prosecutors said they would begin sending email notifications of upcoming trials to departments involved with the cases.

Grovo said in a phone interview Tuesday that former District Attorney Mark Lawrence used to notify his department about trials, but stopped. Grovo said employee turnover in the District Attorney’s Office contributed to the communication breakdown in the Frascas’ case.

Each of the Frascas was charged with 25 counts of animal cruelty in 2007 after the state seized about 250 dogs from their kennel. Under the agreement with prosecutors, the two each pleaded no contest in March to five charges. The other counts were dropped.

Each will have to complete 60 hours of community service and keep no more than four animals at a time through August 2012 to have the remaining charges dismissed.

Grovo said Tuesday that he’s still not happy about the agreement, but understands how it was reached and believes his department will be involved in such decisions in the future.

“I’m confident this won’t happen again,” he said.

Slattery did not return a call Tuesday seeking comment.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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