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West Valley City Police Officer Who Shot Danielle Willard May Get His Job Back

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West Valley City
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West Valley City officials are trying to determine in what capacity former narcotics detective Shaun Cowley will return to work.

Cowley was fired in 2013 for allegedly violating department policies. He appealed the termination, saying he was made a scapegoat for an embattled police department.  The alleged violations were unrelated to his involvement in the shooting death of 21-year-old Danielle Willard in 2012 during an undercover drug operation. A judged dismissed manslaughter charges against Cowley last fall.  

Leading up to a disciplinary hearing Wednesday the city attorney filed a motion to dismiss the city’s case against Cowley.

In a statement, West Valley City spokesperson Sam Johnson says key pieces of evidence in the case have been excluded by the hearing officer and as a result, the city is no longer able to move forward with the case. The statement adds, the city still believes that it was reasonable and appropriate to terminate Cowley. Cowley is scheduled to meet with city officials Monday to determine how much he’ll receive in back pay and benefits.

Cowley’s attorney says the city was unable to produce written copies of the policy Crowley allegedly violated.

The West Valley City Police Department’s Neighborhood Narcotics Unit was disbanded in December 2012 following allegations of corruption and mishandling of evidence. It’s since been reinstated.

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