January 11, 2016 - 8:29 pm
Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger has left his post after a blowup with people close to the criminal investigation into the former city animal control head accused of needlessly killing animals, the Review-Journal learned Monday.
Boulder City Manager David Fraser confirmed Conger has resigned.
Conger hung up on a reporter who called for comment.
The city has been embroiled in scandal since it came to light in December that Conger dropped a criminal case against former animal control supervisor Mary Jo Frazier in April 2015.
Conger didn’t pursue a case against Frazier because he said he felt it would be moot considering she retired right after the investigation concluded. He also told the 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.”
But after the Review-Journal reported the dropped case, seeking charges did serve a purpose: appeasing an outraged public. The city is seeking to charge Frazier with 37 felony animal cruelty counts in connection with animal shelter deaths. The case is being reviewed by the Clark County district attorney.
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’s exit comes after the Review-Journal asked newly hired city spokesman JC Davis when Conger first received a complaint about Frazier from Ann Inabnitt, who was promoted to animal control supervisor after Frazier left.
Davis sent the Review-Journal a statement on Jan. 6 saying Inabnitt first reported Frazier in April 2015 and that no complaints had been raised about Frazier prior to that.
Although Conger has contended he took action as soon as allegations against Frazier were brought to light, that isn’t true, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.
Fraser said the statement provided to the Review-Journal was believed to be accurate at the time it was sent, but later new assertions came to light.
Fraser, in an email, declined to elaborate on the assertions, noting that the case was still pending in front of the district attorney.
Conger has been chief since March 2013. He is a contractual employee, and his technical title is chief of police administration.
Inabnitt gave a statement to the district attorney’s office that she went to Conger in April 2014 after finding out Frazier had killed her own dog, according to the
Frazier’s ex-husband has told the Review-Journal he knew his wife was cruel to animals because she took Oscar, his dachshund, to the shelter and killed him.
Davis didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
Contact Bethany Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861. Find her on Twitter: @betsbarnes