Salt Lake City police chief has yet to decide whether to discipline officers in Utah blood-draw case

(Salt Lake City Police Department/Courtesy of Karra Porter) In this July 26, 2017, frame grab from video taken from a police body camera and provided by attorney Karra Porter, nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. The Utah police department is making changes after the officer dragged Wubbels out of the hospital in handcuffs when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient.

More than three weeks after an internal affairs investigation concluded, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown continues to examine what should happen to two officers involved in the July 26 arrest of a nurse at University Hospital.

The officers, Detective Jeff Payne and Lt. James Tracy, were allowed 20 days to respond to the results of the internal investigation into their actions, the results of which were delivered to them Sept. 13.

Brown was considering Friday — several days after the 20-day window closed — what, if any, disciplinary action to take against the officers, department spokeswoman Christina Judd said. Payne and Tracy could face consequences as severe as termination. Judd did not say when a decision by the chief might be finalized.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski previously said there was no time limit for Brown to make a decision.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City's Police Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Jackie Biskupski hold a press conference at the City and County building on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, to apologize for an officer handcuffing a hospital nurse for refusing a blood draw from an unconscious patient.

Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, said Friday that he and his client attended a hearing with department officials about two weeks ago to give Payne’s side of the story. He said Brown did not attend the hearing; instead, a police captain who authored the report and a city attorney met with them. Skordas said he expected Brown to make a decision “soon.”

Tracy’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Payne aggressively arrested nurse Alex Wubbels after she refused to allow him to obtain a blood sample, citing hospital policy, from an unconscious patient injured in a fiery crash in Cache County. Tracy was Payne’s supervisor the night of July 26 and went to the hospital when Payne encountered challenges obtaining the blood. The encounter was captured on police body cameras, and the footage caused a national uproar after it was released by Wubbels’ attorney about a month later.

The internal affairs report, along with one by the city’s independent Police Civilian Review board, found the officers violated several department policies. A criminal investigation into the event also continues, involving the Unified Police Department, the FBI and the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office.

Both officers have been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 1, the day after the footage was released.