Metro police pick up investigation into dog muzzle sent to Dr. Michelle Fiscus

fiscus muzzle
Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 13:12:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro police have begun an investigation into who sent a dog muzzle to Dr. Michelle Fiscus.

Fiscus served as the state's top vaccine official until she was fired from the Tennessee Department of Health last month. She had been facing scrutiny from Republican state lawmakers over TDH's outreach efforts to vaccine teenagers against COVID-19.

After she was sent the dog muzzle, a report was filed with the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, who determined the package was sent from an Amazon account in Fiscus' name.

"Based on the information provided to us by Amazon via subpoena, and on information derived from interviews, there is no evidence to indicate that the dog muzzle was intended to threaten Dr. Fiscus. The results of this investigation indicate that purchases from both Amazon accounts were charged to the same American Express credit card in the name of Dr. Michelle D. Fiscus," the Homeland Security report says. "At the time, there appears to be no threat toward Dr. Fiscus associated with receipt of the dog muzzle."

The case was then closed.

Fiscus rejected the findings, saying she was unaware of a second Amazon account in her name until the report was made public.

During an interview with NewsChannel 5, Fiscus admitted the charge for the muzzle did show up on her American Express statement but repeatedly denied buying the item.

"I can’t tell you how that happened except that I have used that credit card to purchase travel and to register for conferences and other things that have been reimbursed by the state of Tennessee," said Fiscus.

She added she felt the state's report was filled with inconsistencies. She said a second Amazon account in her name was set up using a burner phone with T-Mobile service, and she doesn't use that provider. In addition, the Amazon account listed her office as the billing address, which she said isn't the address associated with her credit card

On August 20, after Homeland Security closed its case and made the investigation findings public, Fiscus called the Metro Nashville Police Department's fraud unit to report harassment. She told investigators she found the Amazon package in her office on July 7, interpreting the muzzle as a threat. She maintains that she never ordered it.

Metro police confirmed they have begun an investigation into the incident.