Bibb animal shelter employee charged in 2011 back on job after record expunged

pramati@macon.comApril 18, 2013 

A former Macon animal control officer who resigned after allegations that he violated the Animal Protection Act of 2011 has been rehired in the Bibb County Animal Welfare Department.

Macon police issued a warrant against Bruce Rozier in May 2011 on a charge of improperly euthanizing two puppies in violation of the Animal Protection Act. In August 2011, the charge against Rozier was dismissed due to a lack of evidence, and his record was eventually expunged by the Bibb County solicitor.

Bibb County Chief Administrative Officer Steve Layson said Thursday that since Rozier’s record was expunged, there was no reason not to hire him as an animal control officer. Layson said Animal Welfare Director Sarah Tenon had worked with Rozier previously.

“Sarah felt confident that he would be a good employee,” Layson said. “If someone is vindicated of something, do you hold it against them?”

Bibb County commissioners discussed the hiring of Rozier for about 20 minutes in a closed session Tuesday night. Layson said he could not divulge details of that private meeting.

Tenon was unavailable for comment.

In the May 2011 incident, Rozier was charged by Macon police with violating the Animal Protection Act after a fellow employee accused him of performing an “intracardial injection” -- an injection straight into the heart -- on two puppies at the shelter to euthanize them.

However, the solicitor general’s office “dead docketed” the case in July 2011 because of insufficient evidence.

According to a letter written by Cynthia T. Adams, chief assistant solicitor general, “while Mr. Rozier may have violated certain procedures of the Macon Animal Shelter during his tenure there, such violations do not rise to the level of criminal actions. Therefore, this charge is being dead docketed.”

That came after a May 12, 2011, letter from Jones County veterinarian Debbie Gadd, who was asked to examine the puppies by then-Animal Control Director Jim Johnson.

Gadd wrote that she was unable to find evidence of the dogs’ being euthanized by intraperitoneal or intracardiac injection. No evidence of puncture wounds was found in the puppies’ thorax or abdomen areas, she wrote, and exact injection locations couldn’t be determined.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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