SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 13, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Jeff Payne, the Salt Lake City Police detective fired this week after cuffing and arresting a nurse who refused to break with protocol and draw blood from an unconscious patient, will appeal his termination.
Payne’s attorney has sent a notice to Salt Lake City’s Civil Service Commission requesting a hearing in the case. The attorney, Greg Skordas, will argue that the firing was “improper.”
“Appellant’s lack of prior disciplinary history and the circumstances and events leading up to the disciplinary decision make the termination of employment an unwarranted form of discipline,” Skordas wrote.
Payne was captured in phone and body camera video grabbing University Hospital Burn Unit nurse Alex Wubbels, placing her in handcuffs, and forcing her to his patrol car. This happened after Wubbels calmly explained the criteria that must be met before she could draw the blood and release it. A search warrant or patient permission was required.
In the July 26 incident, Payne confirmed one more time that Wubbels was refusing his request, and then arrested her as she screamed that she had done nothing wrong. The video, released about a month after the exchange, went viral after it was released by Wubbels and her attorney.
No formal charges were filed against Wubbels, but multiple investigations and review boards found Payne guilty of violating half a dozen police policies.
SLCPD Chief Mike Brown was given the final decision regarding Payne’s employment, and terminated him earlier this week. Brown also demoted SLCPD Lt. James Tracy, who was supervising Payne, and was in contact with Payne as the July incident unfolded.
Payne has said he will call Tracy as a witness.
The burn patient, William Gray, later died from the critical injuries he had sustained when his truck was hit by a suspect fleeing law enforcement in Cache County.
(Audio begins at 30 seconds, arrest at 6:45 mark)