Fraternal Order of Police demands District Attorney correct ‘false statement’ in high-profile case

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- The Fraternal Order of Police has sent a letter demanding that Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill make, "a correction of false statement”, regarding things he said involving the investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting.

The move comes one day after a judge ruled that former West Valley City Police Department Det. Shaun Cowley won't be tried on manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Danielle Willard. Click here for details on that decision.

A letter written by former federal judge and current law professor Paul Cassell on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police includes what the organization calls a detailed account of dishonest statements made by Gill.

In particular, the letter points out a presentation Gill said he made to five detectives regarding the Danielle Willard shooting investigation. Gill claims all five present-- two each from West Valley City and Salt Lake City and one from the Unified Police Department--recommended charges against Cowley.

The letter conflicts with that account, stating that of those five detectives, “Only Det. Kotrodimos (the 'expert' used by prosecutors at the preliminary hearing) says he recommended charges be filed.”

The letter states that Sgt. Jason Jones of the Unified Police Department said in a sworn statement: “Mr. Gill stated that we (that is the five people who had first gotten together) had all voted in favor of charges. That is not true. I was not present for any such vote. I certainly never voted for filing of any charges. Other than the first meeting to view the PowerPoint, there was never even a five team member meeting to vote that I am aware of.”

According to the letter, Det. Greco of the West Valley City Police Department also stated that he had attended the panel and did not recommend filing criminal charges.

Gill responded to the letter Friday.

"If I had made a statement that was not right or corrected it, that anyone of these officers at that time could've come up to me and said, 'Hey listen, that's not exactly what happened, I just want you to know', so I find it kind of ironic now that there are differences in their memories and whatnot,” he said.

Gill said it's a political season, and he said he understands what's going on and asks the voters to decide for themselves.

The letter states that if Gill can't produce the five detectives then there should be an ethics investigation of him. Brett Rawson, an attorney who is also with the Fraternal Order of Police, said he believes Gill's alleged misconduct has done damage.

"There's still harm that was done to these officers," he said. "There's still harm that was done to Shaun Cowley, and the people of Salt Lake County need to understand that if this District Attorney is willing to lie about this, what else is he willing to lie about?"

22 comments

    • one of the bobs

      You mean the blood of loser criminals in on the streets. I rather criminals die than a police officer. One chose to break the law, the other chose to uphold the law. This entitled society can no longer see it that way… Now they feel bad for these loser criminals that made their choice…

    • Bob

      Next time you’re in trouble Jennifer don’t call 911. Call one of your drug addicted friends to pull your fat out of the fire.

  • UofU Law Rocks

    When did Paul Cassell really learn of this, or plan this? Why did these Blue Code Officers not come forward as soon as Gill made the public statements if they knew this was not true at that time? Why wait until now? When did the FOP learn of this, or plan it? Someone needs to do a GRAMA request of Cassell’s U of U Government email account and see what is revealed. Hahahaha!

  • Trace

    The officer did murder the poor young woman, and should be prosecuted. But the crooked Judicial system makes sure these thugs with badges aren’t paying for their crimes.

  • Justice for Geist

    That was a good shoot Shawn, I would pull the trigger in the same situation and spit on the ignorant faces of those who can’t see facts for facts

  • guester

    Sim Gill: under 63G-2-206 demand Paul Cassell’s UofU law emails with members of the FOP, attorney Bret Rawson, Lindsay Jarvis, Steven L Nelson and Cassell’s wife who is in your own office. Do it. This is not a joke. Also look at 76-8-104. They don’t want you to appeal.

    • Ron

      here we go….maybe you should of taken the original case to court instead of this DA…lol I would like to think that Mr. Gill is familiar with the laws and knows what to do, But I am sure both sides are playing games here.

  • Ron

    can we place a complaint as well…if 4 police officers were not in favor of charges and a judge with all of the evidence from Mr. Gills office, felt the case was not strong enough for trail came to the same conclusion, then clearly this DA is either careless or doesnt know what he is doing.

  • Bob

    JENNIFER SNOW – How about a little sympathy for the blood of innocent victims which is spilled by drug addicts, and your assorted cold blooded criminals that have no respect for decent society.

  • Bob

    Is there some justifiable reason why Sim Gill needed to lie? Probalby why 5 judges earlier refused to grant his request for a grand jury in this matter.

  • Finny Wiggen

    This guy is an absolute disgrace to public office and professionalism in general. Look no further than is campaign signs: “No one is above the law!” Who buys campaign signs with that type of rhetoric!? Why would you say something so classless and unprofessional, unless you are purposely prosecuting high profile cases for political gain?

    It is a genuine shame that we have elected a man like this in Utah. He belongs in Chicago!

  • Melissa Kennedy

    I don’t care what is said by Cowley’s team, I trust Sim Gill with my life. I know that he is doing his best and I believe that Shaun Cowley should have his day in court with a jury. There is no way only one person should decide the fate on a man charged with manslaughter. That judge slept through most of the hearing, and he did not listen to the rest, otherwise Cowley would be facing a jury.

    • Bob

      Don’t try running over the nice policeman when he is arresting you for dealing drugs honey and you’ll have a better than 50-50 percent chance of living to purchase your illegal pharmacuticals when you get out of jail.

      • Melissa Kennedy

        You don’t know my daughter, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you did HONEY then you would make a little more sense. You are taking up for someone who just lost the money and drugs that was suppose to be in his undercover car. You don’t have a clue what is going on here. I won’t even try to say that I do. But, what I do know is that I talked to people just minutes before she was murdered. I know what state of mind she was in. I know about the drug dealers that would not leave her alone and all the times she tried to call the cops and they would not help her. She was screaming for help from the cops and they did nothing to help her. So give me one reason why I should trust any cop. You say to those of us that protest, “Don’t call a cop, Call a drug dealer”. Well just remember she tried the cops, when she tried to get away from the dealers and threatened them she was killed by a cop. Now you tell me about that 50-50 chance. She took the chance to call a cop, then she was murdered by one. Why or How could I ever trust another cop. So Back the ____off and leave her alone. She was a good kid, people liked her and she had her life taken away from her even after trying to get help. So, Thanks a lot for your comment, You have no right to say anything about her.

    • Bob

      I heard no evidence that Danielle Willard was on her way to Bible school as Det. Shaun Cowley approached her vehicle.
      Decent society suffers when drug addicts steal from the to support their habit. The judge heard the evidence and ruled appropriately.

      And oh yes, police officers also have children and spouses waiting for them to come alive at the end of their shifts. They prefer to have 12 to try them rather than 6 to carry them.

  • Bob

    This isn’t Colorado or Washington State where it is now legal to screw your head up with mind altering drugs. The vast majority of Utahn’s have no sympathy or patience with people whose main goal in life is to escape from reality. If you want to do drugs take it somewhere else.

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