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Political Eye: Boulder City’s police chief stays silent

Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger said he won’t be making any more statements regarding a scandal at the city’s animal shelter, including to clarify remarks the city attorney contradicted.

On Dec. 1 the Review-Journal reported that Conger had discovered in April that the city’s head of animal control had been needlessly killing animals for years — but decided not to pursue the criminal case and let her retire.

But after the Review-Journal’s story, he changed his mind. The city has said it is pursuing criminal charges against Frazier due to “public involvement.”

Conger told the Review-Journal on Dec. 1 he had decided to drop the case after talking with City Attorney David Olsen — but Olsen said that wasn’t true. The Review-Journal doubled back with Conger that day, but he didn’t answer when a reporter went to his office, called or sent an email.

On Tuesday at Boulder City’s first public meeting since the news broke, Conger refused to clarify his statement. He only said that everything between him and Olsen fell under attorney-client privilege.

Mayor Rod Woodbury defended Conger’s reasoning Tuesday, saying it was his understanding that Conger was worried the case would be difficult to pursue because Frazier had a state license to euthanize animals. Woodbury said he didn’t know the nuances of the issue, but that it sounded like an obstacle.

On Dec. 1, Conger had this to say on that matter: “She had the authority to put those animals down, OK. She did not follow code when she put those animals down. That’s the difference.”

Frazier was licensed by the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Examiners, until the board learned she had retired. Euthanasia techs must be employed with a shelter in order to be licensed. Every jurisdiction has its own rules for how to determine if an animal should be euthanized, said the board’s executive director, Debbie Machen. Frazier had been breaking city code by killing animals quickly and without having them seen by a veterinarian, according to the police investigation.

“Our laws only teach the euthanasia tech how to handle the drug, how much to use, how to store it, how to log it because it’s a controlled substance. That’s the main reason they have a license with us,” Machen said. “The animals are really the shelter’s responsibility.”

— Bethany Barnes

Christmastime at Nevada Legislature

Nevada lawmakers are packing for a trip to the capital city and a special legislative session to sign a deal with electric car maker Faraday Future.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to sign a proclamation early this week setting the parameters of what legislators will consider when the session begins.

Faraday, a California-based start-up, announced Thursday it will build a $1 billion manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas at the long-vacant Apex Industrial Park. Nevada was one of four states under consideration.

Steve Hill, Nevada’s economic development chief, said the project will inject $85 billion into the Nevada economy over 20 years and create 13,000 direct and indirect jobs.

But first the Nevada Senate and Assembly must finalize $217 million in tax abatements and other provisions of the deal that took more than a year to put together.

Proposed legislation will set out abatements and tax credits available provided Faraday meets investment and hiring thresholds. Laws approved by legislators to clinch the Faraday deal would apply to any company that came to Nevada with a $1 billion investment and met the same benchmarks.

The last special session was in September 2014, when legislators met for two days to approve $1.3 billion in tax incentives to land a $5 billion battery factory in Northern Nevada. That project is a joint venture of Tesla Motors Inc. and Panasonic Corp.

— Sandra Chereb

— Contact Bethany Barnes at bbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow her: @betsbarnes
Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901. Follow her: @SandraChereb

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