A Medina County woman accused of injuring animals, animal cruelty and numerous drug offenses while posing as a veterinarian will remain in the Summit County Jail after a judge refused to reduce her bond.

Brandi Tomko appears before Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Paul J. Gallagher during a pre-trial hearing on her charges of drug possession, animal cruelty and pretending to be a veterinarian Monday. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

Brandi Ann Tomko, 35, of Sharon Township, made a brief appearance Monday before Common Pleas Judge Paul Gallagher.

Her attorney, John Greven, asked Gallagher to reduce her 10 percent, $100,000 bond, saying the sensationalized aspects of her case obscure the fact that she has been charged solely with low-level felonies and misdemeanors.

“Very seldom, I think, do you see F4s, F5s and a bunch of misdemeanors have a bond set at $100,000, 10 percent. This is a lady who has one prior felony conviction, and it happened about 10 years ago,” Greven said.

Two Cleveland television crews shot the proceedings as he addressed the court.

“The other thing, Judge, is she has known about this investigation for quite some time. The allegations that they are saying happened ended about a year ago, and she didn’t run away from it, she didn’t leave town. She’s been around the entire time,” Greven said.

He then asked the judge to consider a “significant bond reduction.”

Gallagher refused and kept the current terms in place.

Tomko has been named in a 33-count indictment containing 15 drug-related felonies, identity fraud, theft, practicing without a license and five counts each of injuring animals, cruelty to animals and cruelly keeping animals inside a residential dwelling.

The charges involving the animals are misdemeanors. That fact prompted a small number of protesters to appear outside the courtroom asking for harsher penalties in such cases.

Prosecutors contend the offenses occurred between February 2010 and April 2011 while Tomko was treating pets at the C&D Animal Hospital on Brittain Road in East Akron. The facility closed last May.

Gregory Peacock, the assistant county prosecutor handling Tomko’s case, gave a brief account of some of the state’s allegations in his argument opposing a bond reduction.

“She clearly has a drug addiction that she can’t control,” Peacock told the judge, “and she obviously has caused numerous people harm because of that. There’s also an identity fraud case where she’s stolen the identity of a veterinarian.

“The state’s position is that Ms. Tomko is where she needs to be right now and is a risk to the community if she were to be released.”

In another felony case filed after a Jan. 24 traffic arrest, Tomko was indicted on charges of heroin possession, aggravated possession of drugs, misdemeanor child endangering and other offenses.

Peacock used the case as another indication Tomko could be a flight risk.

She was scheduled for a March 5 bond hearing in Gallagher’s court, and when she did not show, the judge issued a warrant for her arrest.

Jessica Davey of Lakewood, who attended Monday’s hearing with another woman who volunteered at the clinic where Tomko worked, said she was there to put a face on the case.

Davey said she saw the conditions in which the animals were housed at the clinic, likening it to “a doggie concentration camp.”

She said she took photos on her cell phone of what she saw.

“As soon as you opened the door, your eyes teared up from the ammonia. It smelled awful,” Davey said.

“The cages were rusty. Dogs were just cramped in tiny cages. There were feces and urine everywhere. Their food was really poor quality. The place just wasn’t suited to house animals at all.”

After the hearing, an Akron police detective accompanied Davey and the other woman, who asked not to be named, to police headquarters to question them about the case.

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Tomko is scheduled for her next court appearance at 9 a.m. April 30.