06/22/2009 11:00PM

Paragallo hearing postponed


A hearing in Coxsackie County, N.Y., involving horse owner Ernie Paragallo that was scheduled for Monday was adjourned until late July, according to an official involved in the case.

Ron Perez, the president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, said on Tuesday that the local assistant district attorney in the case had told him the conference was adjourned. Paragallo is facing 22 counts of animal cruelty, each of which carries a sentence of one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

Paragallo's lawyer, Michael Howard, and the assistant district attorney, Sarah Leggio, did not return phone calls on Tuesday.

Paragallo, who raced under the name Paraneck Stable until surrendering his license, was charged in April after investigators visited his Center Brook Farm in Climax, N.Y., and found horses that were allegedly malnourished and infested with parasites. At that time, 67 horses at the farm were turned over to the protection of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

Perez said that all 67 horses had been adopted out, as had seven other horses at the farm who had later been turned over to the humane society. Another 84 horses reside on the farm under the humane society's supervision, Perez said.