AP NEWS

Investigation opened into Lake Havasu State Park ranger

October 12, 2018

The Arizona Department of Administration began an investigation this month into a Lake Havasu State Park ranger after reports of alleged marijuana use on state land.

Sharie Holland began working at the state park about a year ago, and has since become one of seven full-time employees residing at Lake Havasu State Park. According to an Oct. 10 story from the Phoenix New Times, Holland was initially hired as a seasonal ranger at the park, but resided in one of the park’s state-subsidized ranger housing units – lodgings typically reserved for managers, law enforcement officers and rangers with special certifications. Holland had no discernible parks experience, the New Times reported.

The investigation stems from accusations that Holland had smoked marijuana in her housing unit, but according to the Phoenix New Times, the investigation is complicated by Holland’s history with Arizona State Parks and Trails Director Susan Black. According to the New Times, Holland and Black once shared a home, and may have had a romantic relationship prior to Holland’s hiring at Lake Havasu State Park.

The Arizona Department of Administration arrived in Lake Havasu City to question park employees about Holland’s lodgings, as well as the accusations of marijuana use in her lodgings.

Lake Havasu State Park Assistant Manager Steve Chrusciel, who has a background in law enforcement, was Holland’s direct supervisor. Chrusciel reported in June 2017 that he had reason to believe Holland used marijuana on park property, according to the New Times, in violation of state law and Parks policy. While changing an air filter, Chrusciel said in 2017 he smelled what he believed to be an odor consistent with marijuana.

Chrusciel this Thursday declined to speak about the investigation against Holland, as the case remains ongoing. It was at the request of Arizona Department of Administration officials that Chrusciel gave limited information in the matter, Chrusciel said.

“(Holland) was a hard worker and a great person,” Chrusciel said. “I’ve never seen anything inappropriate from her. Nothing like this has ever happened while I’ve been here. This is a great place to work, with great people and class-A workers. We’re a team, a family and we do the best we can to serve the people who come here.”

Holland still resides at Lake Havasu State Park as the investigation progresses.

Arizona State Parks and Trails representatives including Black, Deputy Director James Keegan, Chief Public Information Officer Michelle Thompson and Western Regional Manager John Guthrie could not be reached for comment by telephone as of Thursday evening.

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