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Police send animal shelter deaths case to DA

The Boulder City Police Department is seeking to charge its former supervisor of animal control with 37 felony counts of animal cruelty involving allegations of needlessly killing its shelter’s animals.

The case was submitted to the Clark County district attorney’s office Dec. 16.

A detective launched an investigation into Mary Jo Frazier in April after one of Frazier’s co-workers called police in a panic and reported callousness toward the shelter’s animals. The detective found that animals weren’t being given veterinary exams before their deaths, as city code requires, and that Frazier often killed the animals the day they got there. City code requires animals be held for five days before being killed.

Co-workers told the detective that Frazier, 61, got joy out of killing the animals.

The detective wanted to arrest Frazier in April, but police Chief Bill Conger dropped the case and let her retire. Animal control is under the police department’s jurisdiction.

Conger told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Dec. 1 that he didn’t see a point in pursuing the case after she quit and “didn’t want to drag this thing through the mud.”

Frazier quit two days after the detective finished his investigation. Conger put Frazier on administrative leave the day the detective finished the investigation. He had launched a separate investigation into how she was handling shelter money.

After the Review-Journal story ran on Dec. 1, people protested at the police department on Dec. 3, and the city reversed course. A city official handed out a news release to protesters saying the about-face was a result of “public involvement.”

After the news broke, several people came forward saying Frazier had killed their pets.

Frazier sold her house in Las Vegas shortly after she retired and moved out of state. Efforts to locate her for comment have been unsuccessful.

Frazier had been with the city since 1996, starting as a part-time employee. She became animal control supervisor in 2006. According to Transparent Nevada, Frazier earned $118,508 in salary and benefits in 2014.

The Review-Journal has asked Boulder City for copies of the paperwork submitted to the district attorney’s office, but they have not yet been made available.

In his original affidavit, Detective David Olson wrote: “Mary Jo is neither qualified, nor has the proper medical equipment at the animal shelter to be taking it upon herself to systematically exterminate almost half of the animals that are received at the animal shelter for care and shelter.”

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

 

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