Woman Charged for Removing Tree

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

For Lynn Meck, the front of her son's house is where her grandchildren play every day. That's why when the tree in front it was damaged by a storm, she wanted it cut down immediately.

"I had the tree guys come out and take a look at the tree and they said that the next big windstorm would probably take it over and I was afraid that somebody was going to get hurt," Meck said.

She went ahead and had a contractor remove the tree, but a couple of months later, she received a notice from the city telling her that she has been charged for aiding and abetting malicious destruction of city property. That's a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.

"I'm 63 years old, I've never even had a parking ticket. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do and had it cut down," Meck said.

Mason City Attorney Dennis McGinty said the tree is on public property and the homeowner should've contacted the city to have it taken down.

Meck and her son says looking back, that's probably what they would've done. However, they say getting rid of it quickly was the priority.

"I didn't even let the kids come near the area, you know what I mean, no playing by the tree," said Meck's son Shannon Kanouse.

"The way I look it is basically we saved the City of Mason $300 or whatever it would've costed them to have the tree removed."

Meanwhile, they city is still investigating to confirm if the tree was indeed at risk of toppling over.

The contractor who removed the tree was also charged.

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  • by Stump Grinding Stockport Location: http://www.ashleytreeservices.co.uk on Oct 4, 2012 at 12:03 AM
    Quality blog, keep up the good work.
  • by Jon Location: Clinton County on Sep 23, 2012 at 01:38 AM
    If the city says the tree was theirs to remove then The owner should pay the fine and the city should pay the contractor the removal fee. Then the city can come clean up the leaves, snow, fallen branches, and mow the grass. If it was a newly planted tree fine em. If it was an old tree thank em for the removal.
  • by Mariah Location: Bath on Sep 21, 2012 at 06:37 AM
    Read the article, Trina. They filed misdemeanor charges against the woman punishable by 90 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Sep 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
    Not a criminal charge, Mariah, just a ticket.
  • by Mariah Location: Bath on Sep 20, 2012 at 05:00 AM
    C'mon, Trina, a hardline attitude doesn't advance American goodwill within the community at large. Criminal charges such as those filed in this case are excessive and mean-spirited. My family didn't leave Germany in the early 1940s for more of the same regimented brutality right here in the USA.
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    Sorry, folks. The lady should have called the city and let them take care of it. Shame on the contractor (who should have known better) for taking advantage of her by taking the tree down and charging her.
  • by April Location: Lansing on Sep 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM
    Wow that is really sad. I had such little hope for government this is just stupid. Get a lawyer an fight that!
  • by Anonymous for Location: this reason on Sep 18, 2012 at 06:06 AM
    Typical Mason!!! And the comment about "Barney Fife" is so true! The cops have nothing better to do than harrass people, direct traffic and appear at domestic disputes. This town SUCKS!
  • by James Location: Lansing on Sep 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
    This story deeply angers me. I would encourage all parties involved to find an attorney and sue the city and any other officials involved. Sue them for as much as you possibly can. I also hope that all those involved are in elected positions... If so, they should start looking now for a new job now because the fine folks of Mason are not going to tolerate this sort of abusive behavior by those who are supposed to represent the people. In addition, I encourage any attorney interested in the criminal portion of this case, to represent this woman pro bono. The actions of this wonderful lady has possibly saved someones life.
  • by Thomas May Location: lansing on Sep 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM
    I am the contracter that removed this tree. I think it is absured that the city is pressing criminal charges on three hoonest hard working, tax paying citizens for removing a hazard from the community. The way that the city offical conducted himself was not only rude, but threatening as he waived his finger around in our face.If this is the conduct of our officials than I am ashamed to call myself a member of this community.This man never even announced who he was until the police showed up. I never would of imagined that taking down this dangerous tree for that sweet elderly woman would of result in criminal prosecution. I dont believe than any jury of twelve would convict me on this matter.
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