BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) - A former Louisiana State Fire Marshal deputy is facing charges following the death of a K-9 officer.
Robert Fain was taken into custody and faces one count each of aggravated cruelty to animals and malfeasance in office as well as six counts of first-degree injuring public records and four counts of theft and payroll fraud.
Fain did resign upon his arrest, according to the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office.
An investigation regarding Fain started in October after the death of his department-issued K-9 officer, Maily.
After a necropsy was performed on the dog, it was discovered Maily that her cause of death was neglectful malnourishment. This conflicted with Fain’s explanation that Maily had a lengthy illness.
Another review showed that he claimed fraudulent hours and expenses related to working with the dog.
Another investigation that started in August showed that a supervisor’s regular review of Fain’s fire investigation case files revealed inconsistencies. Investigators learned that Fain took steps to cover up incomplete investigative work on one of his fire cases which included fabricating reports involving K-9 Maily, according to the La. State Fire Marshal’s Office.
“As a dog owner and former K-9 handler myself, these findings make me sick,” said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, in a news release. “We consider all of our K-9 officers part of our law enforcement family and treatment of these animals as anything less is unacceptable. Outright neglect and abuse like this will not be tolerated or excused. These actions alleged against Robert Fain are the actions of one individual and are not reflective of the dedication our handlers have to their K-9 partners nor of our agency’s commitment to public safety and abating arson.”
The La. State Fire Marshal’s Office is now taking steps to review its K-9 program.