ICACS Deputy Director has questionable past

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 09:34:47-04

At last week's Ingham County Law and Courts Committee meeting, several people spoke out about Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter (ICACS) Deputy Director Anne Burns before she came to Ingham County.

We heard words like rude, disrespectful and incompetent. FOX 47 obtained personnel files on Burns and why she was terminated from her previous job, at the Livingston County Animal Control.

"We got rid of her at what cost? I feel like I need to apologize to everyone here that my County Commissioners dropped the ball, totally dropped the ball," said a Livingston Co. resident.

"little did we realize, Anne Burns would bounce down the road and be hired as the deputy, did nobody check her references," said a Livingston Co. resident.

For the first several years at Livingston, her reviews were satisfactory.  But then write-ups, reprimands showing: lack of communication, failure to supervise, accusations of gender discrimination, lack of leadership and claims of fabricating information to an employee about the handling of an animal.

"Our shelter was well known as the place were animals went to die," said a Livingston Co. resident.

"I'd been part of a group, try to convince the county commissioners that things are not just fine at Livingston County Animal Control. In fact, conditions created by Burns were far from what they should be," said another Livingston Co. resident.

In December 2010, after 12 years, Burns was terminated from Livingston County Animal Control.

The terms of the separation are not specific, but a Resignation Agreement and Waiver of Claims was signed by Burns and strong opinions were made clear.

"She didn't leave on her own she was terminated, thank God," said a Livingston Co. resident.

Burns was hired at Ingham County in 2012, the complaints followed her.

"So one of the main names that keep coming up is Anne Burns. She has been the deputy director for a long time and your answers tonight have made it clear that you've heard complaints about her, I've been hearing complaints about her ever since she got here practically," Commissioner Todd Tennis said to ICACS Director John Dinon during the meeting.

"I've always trusted Jamie McAloon's judgment and I never understood why she retained Anne after these concerns were raised," said Tennis. Jamie McAloon was a previous director at ICACS.

Director John Dinon was put in the hot seat, last week, when he was asked about his deputy's character,

"What is your current state of mind on your deputy," Commissioner Tennis asked Dinon.  "Difficult question I will..." Dinon starts to answer. "Work diligently and ask her to cooperate fully with steps we take to improve management at the shelter," answered Dinon, after taking a long pause.

Their communication was another issue raised, specifically about the care of two dogs, from the Michigan Humane Society's investigation, When Burns' decided to send them to an outside vet for a cruelty and neglect examination ...

"So was Deputy Director Burns trying to determine whether the shelter had neglected the dogs or the previous owner had neglected the dogs?" asked Commissioner Kara Hope. 

"The dogs had been in our care for a long period of time, so it would've been the shelter. I've asked Deputy Director Burns why those dogs were sent to an outside vet twice, and the two answers I've gotten were: 'they needed a cruelty exam,' and the second answer I got 'was I felt they were in imminent danger,'" said Dinon. "Are either of those responses satisfactory to you?" asked Hope. 
"Those are a little troubling to me," answered Dinon.