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Latest case for 'deer lady' will be heard elsewhere

The Cheektowaga judge who sent Anita Depczynski to jail granted her request Monday to switch her latest deer-feeding charge to another jurisdiction.

Her defense attorney said he made the request in part because of the political climate in Cheektowaga.

"Ms. Depczynski has brought to my attention the political climate here in Cheektowaga," said Matthew Brooks. "She has fought very strongly for the wildlife in the park, and her opinion is there are members of the town [government] where maybe that's not their first interest."

Justice Ronald Kmiotek granted Brooks' motion to send the case to another jurisdiction. Which court will receive the new case has yet to be determined, but a previous charge was heard by Amherst Town Justice Mark Farrell.

The latest case involves an Oct. 8 report of a Cheektowaga police officer who said he saw her feed apples to deer in Stiglmeier Park. Depczynski, 65, says that whenever she speaks out about the issue of deer or preserving the park, she seems to receive a ticket for violating the state ban on feeding deer.

"I would like to win this case," said Depczynski, known as the "deer lady."

"I do not feel like I'm the guilty party," she added.

Depczynski and others publicly questioned what happened to nearly a dozen deer found dead in the park in 2002. On Dec. 18, 2002, she received her first ticket for feeding the deer. Last fall, she spoke out about the movement of dirt in the park and the clearing of a maintenance area where deer used to congregate, and she received the latest ticket in October.

She has another date in Amherst Town Court next month, since an earlier dismissal was granted under the condition that she not feed the deer again.

Depczynski served seven days in jail in December for violating a conditional discharge issued by Kmiotek.

She said she is staying away from the park because she does not want to be accused of feeding the deer.

"I really miss going to the park. I like being with the wildlife," she said.


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