A Greene County man sued a wildlife conservation officer with the state Game Commission for allegedly filing false charges against him.
The complaint, filed in federal court by attorney Joel Sansone, contended Officer Brandon C. Bonin targeted Marko Demaske, filing 31 violations of the state game and wildlife code from summaries to felony offenses in 2017. The charges alleged Demaske killed or took approximately 13 white-tailed deer in 2015, which Sansone claimed was false. The charges were later dismissed by a Greene County judge.
Bonin seized antlers from Demaske’s property that was occupied by a tenant, according to the suit. Officers also seized 30 pounds of suspected deer meat from one of his tenants and seized a large quantity of suspected deer meat from Demaske’s mother, Sansone wrote.
The complaint contended that the affidavit of probable cause filed against Demaske does not indicate any deer meat or antlers were seized from Demaske directly or at property he owned.
“Defendant Bonin’s affidavit of probable cause did not include any facts or evidence whatsoever of the commission of any crime and/or misconduct by (Demaske),” Sansone wrote, adding that Bonin had previously accused Demaske of wrongdoing.
The complaint also cites an incident in 2014 in which another individual was not criminally charged in similar circumstances, and alleges false accusations were made against Demaske several years prior to the 2017 incident, which Sansone states came from a longstanding animosity harbored against him by the state Game Commission and Bonin.
On Feb. 14, 2018, the charges against Demaske were dismissed in the Greene County Court of Common Pleas.
Sansone is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Bonin, along with legal fees.