Lawyer And Client Accused Of Break-in, Animal Abuse

State's Attorney's Office Will Investigate The Complaint

January 12, 1992|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

A Bel Air attorney and his client are being investigated for a break-in at the home of the client's estranged wife.

The woman alleges that the family kitten was put in a microwave oven and killed at the time of the break-in.

A complaint filed Dec. 14 by Nancy Anderson Sanders with the state Attorney Grievance Commission accuses Bel Air lawyer Stanley E. Protokowicz Jr. and her estranged husband, Thomas Sanders, of breaking into her home Oct. 13. She and the children were away at the time, shesaid.

A copy of the complaint was obtained by The Harford County Sun last week.

Neither man has been charged in the case.

DeputyDeWayne Curry, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, said the investigation has been turned over to the county State's Attorney's Office.

Joseph I. Cassilly, county state's attorney, confirmed Friday that Protokowicz, an attorney with the firm of Miller, Fry, Protokowicz and Birch, and Thomas Sanders were under investigation. He declined further comment.

Augustus F. Brown, a lawyer representing Protokowicz, said: "I don't have any specific comment about the allegations. I can confirm the investigation is under way, and we're hopefully close to a resolution on the matter."

John C. Love, a Bel Air lawyer representing Sanders, said: "I have represented Mr. Sanders in the past, but Idon't think I could tell you what I'm representing him on. I have nocomment."

The Attorney Grievance Commission does not comment on cases unless a lawyer has been disciplined.

Details of the allegations against Protokowicz and Sanders are recorded in the complaint filed with the state Attorney Grievance Commission by Nancy Sanders.

In the grievance, she states that she and Thomas Sanders separated inApril 1991 and that she and the children moved into a new home.

The complaint accuses her estranged husband and Protokowicz -- who represented Thomas Sanders in some of the couple's divorce proceedings -- of breaking into her home Oct. 13.

Nancy Sanders also alleged inthe complaint that Protokowicz, in the presence of her estranged husband, "placed the kitten in the microwave oven. At some point he turned on the microwave with Max, the kitten, still inside."

In the complaint she stated the kitten was found dead on the kitchen floor, and "it had had champagne poured on it."

At first, she said in the complaint, the family thought the cat had been poisoned.

"It was not until Friday Oct. 18, 1991, that I discovered my microwave interiorwas covered with cat hair," Nancy Sanders said in her complaint.

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