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Demoted West Valley City officer called an incompetent supervisor
Appeal » John Coyle was dropped to “officer” after probe of unit.

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Powell said he told the officers that the commission mandated that they be present, but everything else was between them and their legal counsel.

The commission, however, ordered the appeal hearing to continue.

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Powell, the first witness called, said Coyle allegedly acknowledged that "tools" and "cleaning supplies" were taken and some clothing donated to Deseret Industries.

Coyle was cleared of most allegations during an initial internal affairs investigation and no serious discipline — particularly not a demotion — was recommended. But a second investigation, lasting 11 days, resulted in discipline that led to his demotion, which came last August, a day after new West Valley City Police Chief Lee Russo was hired, testimony revealed.

Strindberg on Monday questioned what prompted investigators to embark on a second investigation after completing the first, and why Coyle received such harsh discipline when almost none was recommended the first time around.

Strindberg also questioned why Coyle’s supervisors were never disciplined and why Sgt. Michael Johnson, who oversaw many of the day-to-day operations of the narcotics unit, received only a 40-hour suspension.

The hearing is set to continue Tuesday, with Coyle listed as a possible witness in his own defense.


Twitter @sltribjanelle

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