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Attorney For Shaun Cowley Sues West Valley City

West Valley City

The attorney for Shaun Cowley filed a lawsuit Monday in 3rd District Court against West Valley City. The former West Valley detective wants to recoup legal fees he accrued while fighting a manslaughter charge for 2012 shooting death of Danielle Willard.

A representative with Bret W. Rawson Professional Corporation confirmed that per state statute, the law firm reached out to West Valley City Officials to recover the legal fees totaling more than $300,000. The city was obligated to respond within 60 days of notice. An official with Rawson’s office told KUER that when the deadline was not met they were forced to file the lawsuit.

Rawson is general legal counsel for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police.

In November 2012, Cowley and his partner Kevin Salmon were working undercover on West Valley City’s Neighborhood Narcotics when they approached Willard, who was unarmed and sitting in her parked car.  Reports say Willard backed out of the stall toward the officers and Cowley shot Willard.

Back in June, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gil filed criminal charges against Cowley. In October, a 3rd District Court Judge dismissed those charges.

Officials with West Valley City declined to comment on Tuesday citing pending litigation. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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