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Embattled West Valley Police detective keeping his job - for now

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - West Valley police appear to be backing off what appeared to be plans to fire Detective Shaun Cowley. Cowley is the officer at the center of West Valley's corruption allegations. As of Thursday, for the moment, he's keeping his job.
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - West Valley police appear to be backing off what appeared to be plans to fire Detective Shaun Cowley. Cowley is the officer at the center of West Valley's corruption allegations. As of Thursday, for the moment, he's keeping his job.

According to Cowley’s attorneys, a week ago West Valley police told him he was going to be fired in the next 7 to 10 days, but Thursday police sent a letter to ABC 4 that shows that's not going to happen.

You might say attorneys for West Valley Detective Shaun Cowley have won a small victory.

"Now, now is the time to do things in the way that they are supposed to be done," said Lindsay Jarvis, Attorney for Det. Shaun Cowley.

On Tuesday, Cowley's primary attorney Lindsay Jarvis asked the West Valley City Council to stop police from firing the detective. It sounds like West Valley is listening. Cowley was one of two officers who shot and killed Danielle Willard, and his name pops up repeatedly in 19 drug cases dismissed by the Salt Lake County District Attorney. Thursday West Valley's Professional Standards Review Board, or PRSB, was scheduled to review what to do with Cowley's job. But police sent ABC 4 a press release stating the board would not review Cowley Thursday, and police want more time to weigh out their options.

For now, that move saves Cowley’s job. Acting Police Chief Anita Schwemmer said she won't fire Cowley until the PSRB weighs in.

"It would be inappropriate for me to make a decision like that until after those steps are completed," said Anita Schwemmer, Acting West Valley City Police Chief.

While this may be a win for Cowley and his attorneys, they said this is only one of many victories to come.

"This case will not be one where at the end of the day, they'll be able to point to Det. Cowley and say that he was corrupt. Absolutely not," said Bret Rawson, Attorney for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police.

It's important to note, it’s believed the review board will eventually review Cowley's job. So it's still possible he could get fired. Right now it's just unclear when that might happen.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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