Former mosquito district director faces trespassing charges

elizabeth 'libby' nance
Libby Nance

Moab City Police arrested Elizabeth “Libby” Lee Nance last week after she allegedly entered the office of her former employer, the Moab Mosquito Abatement District, from which she had been trespassed upon termination. She faces multiple charges, including a threat of violence against a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Nance, 60, allegedly went to the district office at 1000 Sand Flats Road around 8 a.m. on Oct. 30, knocked on the door, and when an employee unlatched it, she barged in and began collecting items. She told police when they arrived that she was collecting her belongings from the office.

Police advised Nance that she was not allowed at the office without an officer present, since she had been trespassed from the office. She told police, “you’re here,” and police told her, “that’s not how it works,” according to the police report.

When police asked Nance to stop what she was doing so they could talk to her and that she needed to leave the building, she allegedly refused and said that she was not leaving until she had collected all of her things. An officer then told her that he was going to arrest her for trespassing, and according to police, Nance told the officer that if he touched her, she would “kill” him.

Additional officers, including Moab Chief of Police Bret Edge, eventually arrived and assisted in arresting her. Nance faces five charges: threats of violence against a police officer, trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and failure to comply with a lawful order.

In a separate matter from Oct. 6, prior to the abatement district board firing her, Nance also faces charges for abuse of an emergency reporting system and for illegally parking in a driveway.

Nance had threatened to resign her job as the director of the Moab Mosquito Abatement District multiple times prior to her firing, including in June amidst what district board chair Tim Graham said was overwhelming pressure on Nance to control the summer’s larger-than-normal mosquito hatch, alongside low staffing levels.

When she tendered her resignation that month, the board refused to accept it. Graham said Nance, an entomologist who had been on the job for two and a half years at the time, became “overwhelmed” while out in the field doing work outside the scope of her normal duties due to low staffing levels.

“We have full confidence in Libby,” Graham said at the time. He told attendees of a district board meeting that the incident was “the result of her trying to do all the jobs,” and that the district had been short-staffed during the season.