The Haight Street vintage shop owner who was raided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for selling illegal animal parts claims she had no idea she was in violation of the law.
The CDFW (cool to call it that?) received an anonymous tip that Decades of Fashion was selling clothing items that contained parts of endangered animals. While it is not illegal to own endangered animals furs, skins, et al, it is illegal to sell them.
Decades of Fashion owner Cecily Hansen told the Chronicle's Leah Garchik that she had no idea she was up to anything nefarious, and did so using the following amazing quotes that we have pulled from Garchik's excellent piece:
“I just feel that this is about recycling and honoring.”
“They really criminalized us, when we were not coming from a place of malicious intent.”
"The clothes were there only because I am in the middle of building a house in Petaluma.”
“When I read about that fellow shooting that lion, I cried.”
Spokesman for the CDFW, Andrew Hughan chimed in, “My grandmother gave me a polar bear quilt."
Hansen also added that her father was a probate lawyer and she thus apparently possesses an above average understanding of the law. The vintage store owner insists she had no idea she was trading in illegal leopard fur and thinks the CDFW is making waaaaaaay to big a deal about the whole thing.
It's up to the San Francisco District Attorney's office whether or not to file charges. Hansen wouldn't face any jail time, but she'd be subject to substantial fines.