Salt Lake City – The detective at the center of the controversial arrest of a University of Utah nurse made his final plea to keep his job as an internal affairs investigation concludes.
The ultimate decision of whether or not Detective Jeff Payne loses his job will soon rest with Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.
Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, spoke with 2News after the internal affairs hearing Monday.
“[Chief Brown] will review the file, he’ll review the internal affairs complaint, all of the witness statements, and our comments today and make a decision,” Skordas said.
Skordas said he believes Payne’s punishment for the July arrest shouldn’t cost him his job.
“I don’t think anybody is going to say that Jeff couldn’t have done things differently and there should be some sanction for that. I don’t think this warns major discipline, I don’t think it warrants termination by any means,” Skordas said. “I hope that people can keep this case in perspective and not let the media frenzy that surrounded it decide what the punishment should be.”
Payne has been on paid administrative leave since last month when the video came to light.
The video has gained worldwide attention and prompted policy changes at the University of Utah and at Salt Lake City Police.
Skordas acknowledged it may be difficult for Payne to return to work as a police officer. Payne wants to apologize to Wubbels and the University of Utah Hospital staff.
“I know Jeff wants to go back to work, I know that it would be difficult for him, I’m sure there are members of the department that will be a little circumspect around him, but he’s worked here for 27 years and he has a very good reputation,” Skordas said.
If Payne’s employment is terminated, Skordas said he will file an appeal to the Salt Lake City Civil Service Commission and if necessary to the Utah Supreme Court.