After tumult, the Heims are no longer humane society officers

Milford. Business limps along after a turbulent period in which the court granted two women protection orders against longtime humane society director Barry Heim.

| 29 Jul 2021 | 02:35

Janet Heim was confused. She tried to enter Milford Borough Hall on Wednesday to join an executive session of the Pike County Humane Society Board of Directors. But, as she learned only that night, she’d been voted off the board in an earlier executive session.

She said the board’s attorney had not informed her of this development. A board member insisted Heim had been told and blocked her entrance. Heim was allowed in later, for the open portion of the meeting.

Board members attending Wednesday’s meeting were John Somers, president; Kim Alexander, treasurer; Mary Cervati; Barbara Lippincott; and Carol Sprout. Cervati did most of the talking.

And so it came to be known that Janet Heim, along with her estranged husband, Barry Heim, the humane society’s longtime director, are no longer officers of the nonprofit organization that cares for the community’s homeless animals.

In another bit of confusion, Barry Heim, who has long presented himself as the humane society’s director, is listed on the humane society’s 2019 tax filing as the treasurer, Janet Heim as the director, and both as board members.

This development follows a tumultuous period in which a humane society employee, Selina McGinnis, accused Barry Heim of sexual assault and harassment. On July 15, Judge Kelly Gaughan granted her an order for protection of victims of sexual violence stipulating that Barry Heim will not have contact, either direct or indirect, with McGinnis. The agreement expires on Oct. 14, and also states that Heim denies all charges and admits to no wrongdoing.

During two court appearances, McGinnis was accompanied by many supporters from the humane society’s ranks. Supporters also turned out at Wednesday’s meeting.

On June 30, Judge Gregory H. Chelak granted Janet Heim a six-month temporary protection order from her husband, whom she is divorcing. Judge Chelak also forbade Barry Heim from possessing firearms.

Business limps along

The board continued with housekeeping tasks at Wednesday’s meeting. Alexander said the balance from one bank account is $369,880 but didn’t have a full treasurer’s report. She said she couldn’t pull the other balance up on her phone. The board decided that a full treasurer’s report will be given at the next meeting.

A board member who writes thank you notes to donors had run out of stamps. Another board member said she had stamps she could give to her.

Volunteer applications will be reworked without a request for birth dates.

The volunteer who was doing the humane society’s newsletter is no longer volunteering. He left his computer, which contains the newsletter format, behind for use by the humane society. But no one knows where the computer is. The board members said they would look for the computer.

Borough hall was sweltering on Wednesday. The air conditioner seemed to be dysfunctional. Not even the Milford Borough Council is using borough hall, for the time being meeting in the airier St. Patrick’s Parish Hall.

Some of those attending the humane society meeting hadn’t been vaccinated for Covid-19, and no one was wearing a mask, so this reporter propped the door open. A board member said the door couldn’t be propped open because borough hall rules wouldn’t allow it. So the Courier left.

Fewer than 40 percent of Pike County residents have been fully vaccinated.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that it was Mary Cervati, not Carol Sprout, who did most of the talking at the meeting. The Courier regrets the error.