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    Deputy fired for not taking firefighter's keys
    Thursday, May 3, 2007 3:53 AM
    By Tom Sheehan

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
    Muskingum County Sheriff Bob Stephenson fired a deputy yesterday for mishandling the traffic stop of a motorist, possibly impaired by alcohol, who died minutes later in a wreck.

    Former Deputy Phillip Michel, who was suspended with pay last week, should not have allowed Columbus Fire Capt. Marquis Phillips to drive after stopping him about 9:50 p.m. April 5, the sheriff said.

    Ten minutes later, Phillips crashed his sport-utility vehicle near Frazeysburg and was killed. Preliminary toxicology results show that Phillips' blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.08 percent, the minimum at which a person is considered to be driving drunk.

    Both Stephenson and Chief Deputy Bryan Hoover would not divulge Phillips' blood-alcohol level. Michel had stopped Phillips, 35, for crossing the center line several times on Raiders Road, about 50 miles east of Columbus.

    Michel "should have done something, take his keys, arrest him or have someone come and get him," Stephenson said. "I just felt with everything explained to me, it was in the best interests (of everyone) to handle it in this manner."

    Michel, a deputy since February 2005, might have been swayed to let Phillips go because he told him he was a fire captain and had a brother in law enforcement, Hoover said.

    Phillips told Michel he had two beers at a Zanesville bar, Hoover said. Michel also observed Phillips call his brother to come and get him, Hoover said, but he then drove off after the deputy left.

    Michel, who has seven days in which to file a union grievance to try to get his job back, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Battalion Chief Doug Smith, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Division, declined to comment.

    Phillips was promoted to captain on Feb. 27. He became a firefighter in 1991 and was promoted to lieutenant about five years ago, officials said.

    [email protected]

    For additional health information, visit OhioHealth

  • #2
    As the old saying goes:
    That's what you get for being a "Nice Guy".

    TWO REASONS for this:
    A. LIABILITY. The Deputy's department is now liable.

    B. The MEDIA loves to play up " Double Standard". CHIEFS don't like to have to explain, and be embarrassed.

    Comment


    • #3
      A tragic and sad end to two careers! God bless the families of both men and may they proceed in life unencumbered with the memories of two honorable careers.
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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      • #4
        Considering we know this family, it is a very very sad situation. 3 kids no longer have their daddy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hitman2 View Post
          Considering we know this family, it is a very very sad situation. 3 kids no longer have their daddy.
          All because he put alcohol before his kids and the leo wanted to be liked instead of doing his job.
          Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pujolsfan146 View Post
            All because he put alcohol before his kids and the leo wanted to be liked instead of doing his job.

            Sad isn't it.

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            • #7
              Sad and wrong, but I've done the same thing and the dice didn't roll craps for me. At the time, I was thinking about how my fellow officers would treat me if I busted another cop (which I eventually did, by the way, and the aftermath was a non-event). Peer pressure can be a terrible thing.
              Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Magicman View Post


                Michel, a deputy since February 2005, might have been swayed to let Phillips go because he told him he was a fire captain and had a brother in law enforcement, Hoover said.
                First off, he could be a chief, but he was a drunk chief. Sadly, a driving drunk chief. Funny.....every one does stupid things.

                His brother could very well be a LEO. Not a big dreal, he wasnt there and he was talking to a drunk chief.

                Liabilty comes into play as soon as you KNOW that a crime is being commited, and that lives could be lost.
                *Glad it all worked out for ya Tim,. Yes, peer pressure does cause alot problems.
                ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                Oscar Wilde

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                • #9
                  Back when I was an explorer I remember manning a seatbelt/DUI checkpoint for a minute while the officer stepped away. A fellow in a big freaking F350 drives up and has a freaking budweiser sitting right in his console. I Act like I don't notice it, no big deal, and just gave him the spiel. I told him to wait just one second while I ask the officer something and get him a little seatbelt pin and ink pen. I tell the officer he has an open container in the console on his side of the cupholder. This guy's been drinking. Officer walks back to the car, checks it out real quick, and SENDS HIM ON HIS WAY. I couldn't freaking believe it. The guy didn't look obliterated but this is someone who needs correction. Open container and DUI...I still to this day wonder what the hell that officer was thinking.

                  Professional courtesy should NEVER get you out of something like that.
                  -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

                  --ArkansasRed24

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                  • #10
                    I'd have taken his keys, called him a taxi and left him a card with a phone number that said "call when you're sober and done being a jackass."
                    Considerably.....

                    83.9 on the Jeff Co. test! Woohoo!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree w/amblnc38, no ones life is worth a courtesy or their job.
                      DISCLAIMER: All opinions are mine, they do not reflect the opinions or position of my employing agency nor do they reflect any position of my agency.

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                      • #12
                        I'd arrest a firefighter in a heartbeat for OWI. Come to think of it, I'd arrest a firefighter in a heartbeat for just about anything. I really dislike those guys.
                        "I assume you all have guns and crack."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Badgerland View Post
                          I'd arrest a firefighter in a heartbeat for OWI. Come to think of it, I'd arrest a firefighter in a heartbeat for just about anything. I really dislike those guys.
                          I was just thinking the same thing. Not all, but most act like jerks around here too. Maybe the Fire Captian told the deputy that he was rushing to the hospital cause his father was having a heart attack.
                          The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.

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                          • #14
                            Sad story all around. I drove home drunk once...girlfriend in the car with me...and sufficiently scared myself into never doing it again, and to this day never have (11 years ago). I would hope, for my sake and the publics, that if I decided to again and was pulled over, that someone would call me a cab and/or kick my butt all over the highway.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was going for the mature response there...thanks for bringing it down a few notches.

                              Comment

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