WEST VALLEY CITY (ABC 4 Utah)- The saga of the West Valley City Police Department's corruption allegations continues. Lawyers for Former WVC Officer Shaun Cowley submitted a formal appeal to his termination. That, after the shooting death from Danielle Willard and the disbandment of the Neighborhood Narcotics Unit.
The lawyers for Cowley have always said he was a scapegoat for the police department's misconduct allegations. The 41-page appeal details why they say other officers received punishments less harsh that Cowley's termination for more egregious acts.
Out of nine officers on the West Valley City Police Department placed on administrative leave, Cowley was the only one fired. This 41-page appeal to the city's Civil Service Commission recounts numerous occasions when other officers made violations.
"Lt. Doyle has a history of being unethical; of not following the rules. West Valley knew this at the time they hired him and then rapidly promoted him. Sgt. Johnson has been involved in misconduct in that he's allowed individuals he's supervising commit to felonies on duty. West Valley punished him with 49 hrs of time off," said Attorney Lindsay Jarvis.
Cowley was cited for mishandling evidence by leaving evidence in his locker and patrol car. But his lawyer Lindsay Jarvis says a termination was too harsh; especially compared to officers like Sgt. Johnson who she says we're involved in pantygate.
"They decided they're going to play a game on another officer. So they're outside the house, they send a new trainee inside the house to steal a pair of women's underwear to bring back out and throw in another patrol vehicle. Entering in another person's residence with the intent to steal is burglary, punishable by one to 15 years in prison," said Jarvis.
New West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo says he is addressing the allegations of misconduct in the department. But he still stands by his decision to terminate Cowley.
"The reality of this appeal is that we are focusing on the misconduct of Shaun Cowley. That's where this appeal is focused," said Russo.
Russo says he didn't have a chance to read the entire appeal by Thursday night. Jarvis says she expects to have the official appeal hearing in January or February.
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