The 31-year-old owner cited for abandoning two of her boats after they were evicted from a marina last summer - and pulled out of the water by state officials - warned that legislation drafted after the incident could be an opening for others to abuse.
The State Boat Act, sponsored by Sen.
Neighbors of Scarton's boats said they reported it to the
Scarton has disputed that her boat was abandoned, saying the Crazy Girl's captain was elderly and struggling with medical issues. She said she was in communication with the
"If they used me as a staple for this, then they lied in order to justify that, then obviously what they're doing is a problem - not the person who's abandoning it," Scarton said. "We all know what this is. This is just to give the (
Crazy Girl eventually sank and was hauled out by
Scarton was charged with abandoning a vessel and awaits trial in April. She was charged a second time when Party of Five was also recovered by the
Elfreth's district includes
"The saga of Crazy Girl is not unique to my community," Elfreth said, noting that waters across
The bill would authorize the
The bill would also change the definition of "abandoned or sunken vessels."
It decreases the amount of time a boat has to be untouched by its owner or guardian before it is considered abandoned - from 90 days untouched without consent at a private marina or boatyard, to 30 days. And it splits up a multi-part definition so that any of the following circumstances can qualify a vessel as sunken or abandoned:
*A boat that has been found adrift or unattended in or upon
*A boat that is found in disrepair.
*A boat that is presenting a health or environmental hazard.
Scarton reached out to Elfreth after learning that her boats were mentioned at the first hearing on the bill. She said they spoke twice.
Elfreth said she also spoke with the owner of the marina where some of Scarton's boats were docked.
This bill is not targeting one person, but a response to an issue that plagues waterfront communities across the state, and the
At hearings for the bill in both the House and the
Scarton came down to the State House on Wednesday when the House version of the bill was set to be heard at
"I really do think this (bill) is going to open up the doors for an unbelievable abuse of power," Scarton said. "Lying about me proves that point. Don't do that."
Instead, Scarton suggested a system where boat owners are required to upload their boat insurance to a statewide database, which would prevent situations like hers. She said she sent her insurance information to
At the beginning of Wednesday's hearing, Chairman of the