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Police chief resigns amid controversy surround animal shelter scandal

Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger resigned unexpectedly Monday surrounded by controversy regarding the criminal investigation against former Animal Shelter Supervisor Mary Jo Frazier, who is accused of needlessly killing hundreds of animals.

When reached by phone Monday, Conger refused to comment on the situation.

City Manager David Fraser confirmed that the former chief of police administration resigned.

Neither Fraser nor JC Davis, the city’s newly appointed, part-time spokesperson, would comment much on the resignation stating they could not because the majority of it is tied to an active legal case.

However, both said it came as a surprise.

“In fact we found out from a reporter that he had cleaned out his office,” Davis said, adding that they were notified later in the day from the company that employed Conger.

Conger, who retired as deputy chief from the Metropolitan Police Department in Las Vegas in 2005, was employed by a California firm and given the title chief of police administration so that he could maintain his retirement benefits. He started as temporary police chief in March 2013 and was appointed to the position permanently in September 2013.

As police chief, he was responsible for overseeing the city’s animal control department.

A source close to the situation said Conger quit suddenly after members of the police force went to the city’s human resources department to complain that Conger wasn’t being truthful about when animal control staff first raised the alarm about Frazier.

Conger has contended that he launched an investigation into Frazier as soon as he found out about allegations against Frazier.

But according to a source with knowledge of the district attorney’s investigation, Ann Inabnitt, who was promoted to animal control supervisor after Frazier left, gave a statement to prosecutors that she went to Conger a year before any action was taken.

Conger originally dropped the case against Frazier in April 2015 because he said he felt it would be moot considering she retired right after the investigation into her actions concluded. He also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he didn’t feel the case was strong after consulting with City Attorney David Olsen. The city attorney said Conger didn’t ask him about the case.

“People get in trouble and resign all the time,” he said on Dec. 1. Conger said he didn’t think a case would serve a purpose other than to “drag this thing through the mud.”

In December, after public protest, the police submitted a case to the Clark County district attorney seeking 37 felony charges of animal cruelty against Frazier.

Davis said the city has not heard from Steven Wolfson, the county district attorney, about the status of the case or “where we are in the que at this point.”

The city also has no immediate plans to investigate the matter on its own and will “allow the process to play itself out. If there are unanswered questions, we will consider them,” Davis said.

After Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Fraser said the city intends to find a permanent replacement for Conger and it is assumed it will be a certified police officer.

In the meantime, Sgt. John Glenn, who has been with the department since June 1992, was named acting chief Tuesday morning by Fraser.

David said he doesn’t expect any repercussions against Conger at this point for his abrupt resignation.

“I did have peek at his contract yesterday. It was an at-will contract,” Davis said.

The original term of the contract was six months and with an option for renewals until a time when either party chose to terminate it. There were no provisions for any type of severance package or penalties when the contract ended, he said.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Contact Bethany Barnes at bbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Find her on Twitter: @betsbarnes

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