Deputy's suspension reversed - Quad-Cities Online: Iowa

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Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 1998 12:00 am | Updated: 11:20 am, Tue Apr 22, 2014.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) -- A Des Moines County sheriff's deputy will be issued a written reprimand but will not be suspended for accidentally firing a rifle into his cruiser

The county Civil Service Commission's decision Tuesday overruled the one-day suspension Sheriff Joel Behne's had ordered for Deputy Jeff White.

A deer had struck White's cruiser on April 17, and the deputy took his semiautomatic rifle from his car to shoot the injured deer.

After he killed the deer, White returned to his patrol car and, as he was unloading the rifle, it slipped from his hands and fired into the trunk of his car, puncturing the gas tank.

During a July 14 appeal hearing, White, who had no previous disciplinary actions on his record, contended the incident was accidental and that he believed he had engaged the rifle's safety before he began to unload it.

``Based on the dangerousness of the incident and the obvious risk of harm to others, this act on its face warrants time off without pay,'' the commission wrote. ``However, due to Deputy White's exemplary service to Des Moines County and its citizens over the last 10 years, the commission finds a written reprimand is appropriate and sufficient.''

White, who had not served the suspension pending appeal, declined comment after the ruling.

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