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DEA investigating animal shelter’s use of drugs

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday confirmed it is investigating the alleged mismanagement of euthanasia drugs at the Boulder City Animal Shelter.

In a grand jury investigation of Mary Jo Frazier, former head of the shelter, Boulder City Police Detective David Olson told the court on Feb. 17 that at the start of his investigation in April 2015 he was “extremely” concerned by what he found in the shelter’s log book, which recorded details about captured animals and what happened to them after they arrived at the shelter.

Reading over the logs was part of an investigation prompted by a phone call from the animal shelter’s current supervisor and former animal control officer, Ann Inabnitt.

Inabnitt said she called the city’s former police chief in the spring of 2014 to report she had watched Frazier euthanize her own dog against shelter policy and had “first-hand knowledge that a drug log, a DEA drug log (was) falsified.”

Frazier told Inabnitt not to do any paperwork on the dog and when Inabnitt asked what she was going to do about the drug log, which is required to be kept on an individual basis by anyone with a euthanasia license, she said she’d “make it up on another dog somewhere,” Inabnitt told the court.

The alleged unlawful death of Oscar resulted in one of two felony animal cruelty charges Frazier faces.

Olson also expressed concern when he saw how many animals had been killed before the shelter’s mandated five-day waiting period.

“The way Ann explained the log book … is euthanized animals were in red ink and other animals that are released or adopted out are in black ink,” Olson testified, “and the overwhelming majority of the color of the ink was red.”

Olson said when he reviewed the shelter’s logs he found 36 animals had been killed in violation of city codes. Frazier’s own dog was not included on the log.

“Through my investigation, on top of the unauthorized euthanasias of the animals, we discovered that there was missing cash from the animal shelter as well as missing narcotic drugs that were used to euthanize the animals,” Olson testified to the grand jury.

Olson said former Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger ordered him to end his investigation and leave the missing money and drugs out of his affidavit.

Although the city police department found no funds missing in its preliminary investigation, the department reached out to the DEA to investigate the shelter’s “alleged missing” controlled substances, Boulder City Manager David Fraser wrote in a statement.

“The Boulder City Police Department reached out to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for assistance. That investigation is active and ongoing, so it would not be appropriate to provide additional details until it has been concluded,” Fraser wrote.

A spokesman for the DEA Los Angeles Field Division, which oversees the administration’s Las Vegas offices, said the organization’s investigation at this point is limited to Frazier’s registration.

“DEA has conducted a preliminary inquiry into Mary Jo Frazier’s DEA registration to dispense controlled substances,” DEA spokesman Timothy Massino said Tuesday. Any individual who prescribes or administers drugs in their profession is required to have a registration number.

“While the investigation in Boulder City is pending, DEA is unable to provide further comment,” he said.

Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@bouldercityreview.com or 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter: @lauxkimber

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