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Officer to argue for keeping job

August 3, 2018

A Fort Wayne police officer is appealing the police chief’s recommendation that he be fired for use of intoxicants while on duty.

Officer Ted Butz was at the Board of Public Safety meeting Thursday with his attorney, Adam Henry, and a representative from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union representing the city’s rank-and-file officers.

Butz is appealing Chief Steve Reed’s recommendation to fire Butz because of his use of intoxicants.

Officials would not provide details of Butz’s intoxicant use, which could be use of alcohol or drugs, but Henry said Butz admitted to the allegations.

Butz will make his case during a closed meeting before the Board of Safety on Sept. 6 at Citizens Square. Henry said Butz will bring three character witnesses.

Malak Heiny, the safety board’s attorney, said no decision would be reached at the regular meeting to be conducted right after Butz’s hearing.

Butz is the second city officer to go before the Board of Public Safety this year for the use of intoxicants while on duty.

In June, the board approved a 30-day suspension for Lt. Timothy Bogenschutz for the use of intoxicants while on duty.

In other business, Reed and Board of Safety members declined to comment about a video of a Fort Wayne police officer that has gone viral on social media. In the video, an officer responds to a report of domestic problems on Hazelett Road and pulls out his Taser stun gun and unholsters his gun twice after being surrounded by several people.

Reed and Officer Michael Joyner, city police spokesman, said there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.

Also Thursday, two citizen appeals were denied. Anthony May and Jerome Clowney had appealed to the board on accusations that they’d been mistreated by Fort Wayne officers in separate cases.

Rusty York, safety board member and former police chief, said the police department’s Internal Affairs Division determined there was no violation of department rules in either case.

The board also approved the promotion of Officer Jonathan Cutler to sergeant and announced that Sgt. Clay Taylor was suspended for one day for disobedience of department policies and procedures.

jduffy@jg.net

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