Just two days after he was fired on Tuesday, the Utah cop who arrested a burn unit nurse for refusing to allow a blood draw on an unconscious patient, filed an appeal to get his job back late Thursday.
His argument: had it not been for his camera, he would still have a job.
Jeff Payne and his attorney, Greg Swords, appealed the termination Thursday and requested a hearing before the Salt Lake City Civil Service Commission.
Skordas claims his client would have never been fired if Payne’s body camera footage had not received so much attention on news and social media.
Payne was dispatched to the University Hospital to collect blood from the unconscious man, who was injured after a suspect in a high-speed police chase crashed into his vehicle.
Since the victim was not responsible for the crash, Payne was presumably sent to retrieve blood with the hope of finding a substance in the victim’s system to relieve the Salt Lake City Police Department of liability from a lawsuit after pursuing the driver who caused the crash.
Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown fired Payne on Tuesday after an internal affairs investigation found Payne violated department policy when he forcibly handcuffed and arrested Alex Wubbels, dragging the screaming nurse out of the hospital.
“You demonstrated extremely poor professional judgment (especially for an officer with 27 years of experience), which calls into question your ability to effectively serve the public and the department,” Brown wrote in Payne’s termination letter.
Lt. James Tracy, Payne’s supervisor who ordered Payne to arrest Wubbels if she didn’t cooperate, plans to appeal Brown’s decision to demote him from Lt. to officer in front of the Civil Service Commission.
The commission consists of three members that hear appeals from fire department and police employees who argue the disciplinary action taken against them is unfair.
During a hearing, the city is tasked with proving the disciplinary action was fair and based in facts.
Payne will have an opportunity to call witnesses and present his own evidence to support his claim that losing his job was unfair.