Former U Of U Officer Involved In McCluskey Case Fired By Logan Police Department
LOGAN, Utah – Officials with the Logan Police Department said officer Miguel Deras has been fired after an investigation by the Utah Department of Public Safety concluded he “mishandled sensitive evidence pertaining to the Lauren McCluskey extortion and subsequent homicide case while he was employed with the University of Utah Police Department.”
Logan police announced the decision Friday afternoon.
“The conclusions drawn in the DPS report are inconsistent with the high expectations and standards placed upon our officers by the community and our department,” officials said. “Our continuing efforts to hold sacred the public’s trust and our duty to serve and protect has resulted in today’s decision.”
Police said Deras was a probationary employee with the department before he was fired.
Deras was accused of saving extortion photos of McCluskey to his mobile phone and making inappropriate comments about the photos to a coworker.
The investigation concluded Deras did not download the photos to his phone, but it did find evidence that “a small number of officers inappropriately commented on the photos before, during or immediately after a shift change briefing,” according to a statement from University of Utah Department of Public Safety Chief Rodney Chatman.
“Although the date cannot be confirmed, at some point after the aforementioned briefing, Officer Deras showed the images to three officers (who had already seen the photos),” according to the DPS investigation summary. “… Officers [redacted] told DPS IA they remember this happening in the hallway outside of the conference room where briefings take place. Officers [redacted] remember hearing some unprofessional comments being made when the pictures were displayed.”
Chatman added he plans to take action against the other officers accused of viewing photos outside of the investigation and making inappropriate comments.
McCluskey was murdered in October 2018 by her ex-boyfriend. Days before her killing, she had reported to the police that he was using the compromising photos to extort her.
Logan police said they were investigating the allegations and had not received a full copy of the DPS report when it was released Thursday.
Read the Utah Department of Public Safety’s summary report here.
Press Release pic.twitter.com/jubH00ZwZT
— Logan City Police (@Logancitypolice) August 7, 2020
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