Jonathan Gandolfo (copy) (copy)

Jonathan Gandolfo

The man who was sentenced to jail time for cutting down two significant trees on the Isle of Palms is appealing the verdict. 

Jonathan Gandolfo, who hired a contractor to cut down two trees on a Carolina Boulevard property that was not his, filed a notice of appeal Monday.

The motion will be considered by a municipal judge Wednesday, IOP City Administrator Desiree Fragoso said.

Gandolfo was found guilty on two counts related to the cutting last month in municipal court. He faces five days total in the county jail and two weekends of community service.

To date, he's served one night of that sentence and paid a $1,087 fine. 

He declined to comment this week. His attorney for the jury trial, Frank Cornely, said he will not handle the appeal. 

The trees in question were on a property Gandolfo was attempting to buy, Cornely previously told The Post and Courier, but the sale ultimately didn't close.

According to a police report detailing the 2016 tree removal, Gandolfo told a contractor to "be a ninja about it and be quick so the code guys don’t interrupt you."

Though it's not uncommon for tree cutting rules to spark controversies, it's rare that they lead to actual jail time. IOP City Council could have accepted a settlement from Gandolfo before his case went to trial, but it voted 5-4 in November to decline that option.

City officials indicated they would pursue civil penalties in the tree ordinance that would require Gandolfo to pay the cost of replacing the trees. Fragoso said that total cost would come to roughly $57,000.

Gandolfo has the option to pay the city, she said, but if he does not, IOP may file a civil action to force him to do so, landing the case in court again. 

Reach Chloe Johnson at 843-735-9985. Follow her on Twitter @_ChloeAJ.