March 3, 2016 - 5:03 pm
The former head of Boulder City’s shelter has been indicted by Clark County grand jury on charges of animal cruelty, prosecutors said Thursday.
District Judge David Barker issued a warrant for Frazier’s arrest.
The scandal has rocked the city of 15,000. Pet owners have come forward claiming Frazier killed their animals and demanded she be held accountable, and the city’s police chief abruptly quit in the aftermath.
The case dates to April when a Boulder City detective investigated Frazier, records show. The detective interviewed shelter staff who said Frazier killed animals for fun. The detective also talked to city veterinarians who said they were rarely asked to treat animals and reviewed shelter records that showed Frazier killed almost half of the animals that came in since 2006.
But Police Chief Bill Conger closed the case. Frazier quit, sold her house and is believed to have moved out of state.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Amy Ferreira asked the judge to consider that the animals involved in the case far exceed the two charges, as Frazier worked for the city for more than a decade.
“You can imagine the actual numbers,” Ferreira said.
One of the charges stems from failing to care for an 11-week old pit bull puppy named Lotus, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.
Frazier’s refusal to treat Lotus is what prompted the initial April detective’s investigation. The puppy had suffered from shattered teeth, a swollen head and a broken left hip. Frazier’s reason, her co-worker told police, was “we don’t spend money on pit bulls and because I’m just going to stick her anyway,” according to the detective’s affidavit to support an arrest warrant.
“We are looking forward to finally seeking justice on these charges,” Ferreira said in a statement. “Sadly, Lotus was in Ms. Frazier’s care because she had already been severely abused.”
The other charge is in connection to the death of Frazier’s ex-husband’s dog, a dachshund named Oscar.
Mary Jo Frazier’s ex-husband, Jeff Frazier, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the matter in December.
“She euthanized him. She stuck him,” he said. “You know, she was animal control supervisor. She just took him to work and put him down.
Jeff Frazier told the RJ at that time he never understood why his ex-wife had not faced charges.
“With all the proof and information they’ve got on her, I don’t know why they haven’t gone down to arrest her and charge her with these things,” he said. “I don’t know if it is the chief not wanting to bring a bunch of negative publicity.”
Conger told the RJ in December that he dropped the case against Frazier because he said he felt it would be moot considering she retired right after the investigation concluded. Frazier was the supervisor for Animal Control, a department that falls under the police department. Conger also told the RJ he didn’t think 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. Conger said he didn’t think a case would serve a purpose other than to “drag this thing through the mud.”
But after the RJ reported on the dropped case, the city in December sent the case to the district attorney, asking Frazier be charged with 37 felony animal cruelty counts in connection with animal shelter deaths.
Conger resigned in January after his staff went to human resources to complain that Frazier’s behavior had been reported to him a full year before taking in action, and resulted in an abrupt departure of its police chief.
“Animal cruelty of any type is unacceptable,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, in a statement. “This case is especially unsettling because the defendant was a person trusted by our community to treat all animals in her care humanely. Ms. Frazier violated her duty when it came to Oscar and Lotus.”
The RJ has been unable to reach Frazier. Court records list her attorney as Daniel Page. Attempts to contact Page were unsuccessful.
Contact Bethany Barnes at email@example.com or 702-477-3861. Find her on Twitter: @betsbarnes