The Burbank businessman accused of creating a public safety nuisance at Bob Hope Airport by feeding a large flock of pigeons will face trial after a judge denied his request to have the charges against him downgraded from a misdemeanor to an infraction.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Margaret Oldendorf on March 9 denied the request for Charles Douglas, according to a copy of the court docket.
Donald Ingalls, who with Bruce Kaufman represents Douglas, said in February that their client should be facing only an infraction for violating the Burbank municipal code restricting the feeding of pigeons, and should not face the repercussions of a state nuisance charge — a misdemeanor.
Douglas, 59, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of creating a public nuisance and disobeying a court order in September.
Defense attorneys also said Douglas already faces an alleged probation violation in a related case and that a new charge of being in contempt of court should not apply.
Burbank Assistant City Atty. Denny Wei has said a judge already ordered Douglas not to feed pigeons.
“That's why we're prosecuting him, because he is in contempt of court,” Wei said.
Ingalls said that authorities were trying to intimidate his client, and that they “wanted to teach him a lesson.”
Airport authorities allege Douglas has been feeding pigeons since September 2010 in violation of Burbank's municipal code, attracting a large flock that poses a threat to aircraft using the Bob Hope airfield.
Douglas is due back in court in April.