The Connecticut Post
KEN DIXON Staff writer

NEW HAVEN – Less than an hour into the third day of trial, Judge Trial Referee Anthony V. DeMayo this morning abruptly dismissed the attempt by the Friends of Animals Inc. to stop the United Illuminating Co. from capturing and killing monk parakeets.

“I feel disappointed and let down by the way the case has been put forward,” DeMayo said before adjourning the case shortly after the Friends of Animals completed submitting testimony in New Haven Superior Court.

He said the FOA legal strategy was unusual because it failed to call UI officials to testify, even though they were in the courtroom during the three-day attempt to win a permanent injunction.

Priscilla Feral, president of the Darien-based FOA, immediately promised an appeal and criticized the General Assembly for failing to protect the colorful parrots following UI’s controversial capture-and-slaughter of about 185 birds in 2005.

Feral and FOA attorney Danielle B. Omasta said DeMayo did not allow the group to properly pursue its case. Rather than seek direct testimony from the UI officials. who ran the capture program, Omasta attempted to submit testimony from their previously sworn depositions taken during the pretrial period.

Those attempts to submit sections of depositions were successfully opposed by Jonathan M. Freiman, UI’s attorney. DeMayo’s upholding of Freiman’s objections will be the basis for the appeal, Omasta said. DeMayo approved Freiman’s motion for summary judgment.