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Jay Fabian, the managing director of the NASCAR Cup Series and one of the series' chief technical officials, has stepped away from his role amid major legal issues. According to a report by Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, online court records in the state of North Carolina show that Fabian faces felony charges of animal cruelty and is due to appear in court on September 27.

The North Carolina Judicial Branch's website shows that Fabian faces two counts of felony animal cruelty as well as one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty in Mecklenburg County. According to Pockrass, the charges stem from Fabian's alleged willful neglect of his dogs, one of whom died after being deprived "of all necessary sustenance in which to live." Another dog was found to have suffered extreme dehydration and starvation, while another yet was deprived of necessary sustenance.

North Carolina animal cruelty laws state that "If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony."

Fabian's misdemeanor charge states that "If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."

On Wednesday NASCAR released a statement saying that the sanctioning body "takes the situation seriously and will continue to gather information as it becomes available. Jay Fabian will step back from his role until this matter is resolved." According to Pockrass, Fabian's role will be filled by multiple people.

Fabian joined NASCAR in 2016 after ten years at Michael Waltrip Racing, where he served in a number of roles including over-the-wall crewmember and crew chief, and was named Cup Series managing director in 2019. In his role as one of the Cup Series' chief officials, Fabian reports to NASCAR vice president of competition Scott Miller.