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Firing of Jordan police officer upheld

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Whistleblower, Whistleblowers Updated: December 23, 2009 - 2:38 PM

The City of Jordan was justified in firing police officer Corey Pudwill in 2006, state arbitrator James A. Lundberg ruled November 16. Lundberg agreed with the city that Pudwill did not follow proper procedures during an early-morning traffic stop of a 19-year-old woman, who later accused Pudwill of groping her.

Pudwill faced criminal charges over the alleged sexual assault, but he was found not guilty in 2008. The arbitrator found that actions during the stop that were unrelated to the charges warranted Pudwill’s firing.
 
Pudwill stopped the woman on Oct. 20, 2006 because the car was traveling below the speed limit and had crossed two feet over the fog line on Hwy. 169. Pudwill said he thought the driver might be intoxicated, according to the report. A sobriety test was negative.
 
The arbitrator’s ruling established that Pudwill failed to log or videotape the traffic stop, or notify his dispatcher that he was making the stop, which was uncharacteristic for him. He also allowed the driver, who only had an instructional license, to drive away. Pudwill admitted he told the driver that “as far as I was concerned, the stop didn’t happen.”
 
Pudwill filed a grievance over his termination. When making his decision to uphold the firing, the arbitrator took into consideration a prior three-day suspension the officer had received for allegedly lying about details of another arrest and encouraging a police reserve officer to do the same. That suspension included a warning that he would likely be terminated for further misconduct.
 
Read the arbitrator’s full decision here.
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