General Crime

* Ag Commissioner Cathy Neville will appear in court to face DUI charges in Sonoma County

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Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville will appear in court later this month to face DUI charges after being arrested by the California Highway Patrol last week near Graton. Neville, 53, was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest at about 9 p.m. Friday. She will appear in court on Sept. 30. A CHP officer pulled over Neville’s 2006 Nissan sedan after spotting her weaving and driving over the white line on the edge of westbound state Highway 116 east of Frei Road. Neville ran a short distance from the CHP officer during a field sobriety test and the officer “had to take Neville down to the ground in an attempt to gain control over her,” a CHP report read. A Sonoma County Animal Care Control officer was called to the scene to take Neville’s two dogs that were in her car, according to the CHP. Neville was taken to the Sonoma County Jail, posted bail and was released on Saturday. She was not immediately available for comment today. Sonoma County Administrator Veronica Ferguson said this afternoon that Neville is still employed pending disposition of the case. Neville’s controversial firing of Amy Cooper, director of the county’s Animal Care and Control Division, two days before Cooper’s one-year probationary period was to expire was criticized by some county employees and members of the public. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider shifting control of the Animal Care and Control Division from the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office to the Department of Public Health. “The recent departure of the Animal Care and Control Division manager has caused members of the public, staff and stakeholders to express concerns regarding continued progress toward improving animal services and care,” Ferguson said in her staff report to the supervisors.    
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