Saturday, February 14, 2004

Deputy Nick Cavanaugh - Otsego SD



On February 14, 2004, Gladwin Police Officers officers observed Cavanaugh's vehicle parked in a private parking lot in Gladwin around 11:45 p.m. Feb. 14.










When the officers approached Deputy Cavanaugh's car, they noticed that the deputy was with a female companion...and that the deputy had hold of her by her hair. The Deputy explained to the Gladwin officers that he was not going to let go of his girlfriend's hair "until she said, please".












The Gladwin officers noted that Deputy Cavanaugh appeared to be intoxicated. They administered a preliminary alcohol test on Cavanaugh. The Deputy blew a .17......Twice the legal limit of .08.













Gladwin officers also found Deputy Cavanaugh's duty gun [fully loaded], in the backseat of the vehile....Hidden under a coat.












Gladwin police officers did not arrest Deputy Nick Cavanaugh for assaulting his girlfriend....Deputy Cavanaugh was not arrested for drunk driving....and Deputy Cavanaugh was not arrested for being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated.












Instead of the Gladwin police officers transporting Deputy Cavanaugh to jail.....














....The Gladwin officers gave Deputy Cavanaugh a ride to a local motel.









Otsego Sheriff Jim McBride fired Deputy Nick Cavanaugh from the Otsego Sheriff Department on February 20th, for the February 14th incidents.








Gladwin County Prosector Thomas Evans refused to file criminal charges against Deputy Cavanaugh for the February 14th incidents....












....AND, because of the Prosecutor's decision,  Otsego Sheriff Jim McBride was forced to put Deputy Cavanaugh back on the Otsego Sheriff Department. In April 2010, Sheriff McBride dismissed Deputy Cavanaugh from the Sheriff Department for "a major policy violation".








ALSO SEE:
DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. March 26, 2010:
Dismissed from Sheriff Department for "A major Violation".





DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. August 2003:
Reprimanded for taking confiscated fireworks for own personal use.











Prosecutor explains why deputy not charged
March 29, 2004
By Michael Jones, Staff Writer
http://articles.petoskeynews.com/2004-03-29/police-officer_24060091

GAYLORD - A letter, dated Feb. 25, from Gladwin County Prosecutor Thomas Evans to Gladwin City Police Chief Charles Jones, spelled out, point by point, the reasons leading to his decision not to bring charges against former Otsego County Sheriff's Dept. (OCSD) Nick Cavanaugh, who was fired Feb. 20.

Otsego County Sheriff

Jim McBride fired Cavanaugh, a five-year veteran with the department, after a Feb. 15 incident in Gladwin, in which, according to a Gladwin City Police report, Cavanaugh was allegedly in possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

McBride said his decision to release Cavanaugh was based on the information found in the police report detailing the incident between Cavanaugh and a Gladwin police officer - as well as past disciplinary issues while Cavanaugh was a deputy with the OCSD. According to McBride, Cavanaugh was suspended last summer for his involvement with another deputy for keeping confiscated fireworks for their own personal use.

Since his termination from the department, Cavanaugh has announced plans to take his case to a state arbitrator, citing the fact the allegations against him were unfounded.

In his letter to the Gladwin chief of police Evans wrote, "There is insufficient evidence to bring charges in this matter … There is no legally admissible evidence whatsoever to show that Mr. Cavanaugh committed a crime and there certainly is insufficient evidence to charge him or convict him."

Although the police report indicates Cavanaugh was given a preliminary breath test and registered a blood-alcohol content of .17, more than twice the legal limit, Evans questioned the validity of the test and several other items in the report.

As to a possible charge of drunk driving, Evans wrote that the officer never saw Cavanaugh driving his car - Cavanaugh was reportedly parked in a private parking lot with a female companion - and he also questioned the validity of the stop, citing a recent unrelated case in Gladwin County.

" … there is no state traffic control order for the entrance, exit, and parking lot of that business … " the letter states, and goes on to say that the district judge ruled the traffic stop in that unrelated case was invalid.

In the letter, Evans also criticized several procedural matters found in the report, including: " … the Michigan State Police administrative guidelines require a 15-minute observation period before a police officer administers a preliminary breath teat (p.b.t.) in order for the p.b.t. results to be used as a basis for an arrest …

"The officer did not administer any field sobriety test to Mr. Cavanaugh … Therefore, there is no legally admissible evidence that Mr. Cavanaugh was intoxicated …"

After reading a copy of the prosecutor's letter, OCSD Undersheriff Matt Nowicki commented, "There are very few things which would lead to a deputy being fired for a first time incident. This wasn't the first time with Nick. We had the recent fireworks problem and there were a number of other corrective measures before that."















Fired deputy wants job back
He had 0.17 blood-alcohol at altercation
By DAN SANDERSON
Record-Eagle staff writer
March 28, 2004
http://www.record-eagle.com/2004/mar/28otsego.htm

GAYLORD - A former Otsego County Sheriff's deputy who was fired for possessing his firearm during an alleged drunken altercation with a woman is fighting to reclaim is job.

Nicholas Cavanaugh, who spent five years as an Otsego deputy, hopes arbitration will return him to his former job.

Otsego Sheriff Jim McBride fired Cavanaugh on Feb. 20 after he learned the deputy was involved in an altercation with a woman in Gladwin.

According to police reports, a Gladwin City Police officer saw Cavanaugh grasping a woman by the back of her hair while his car was parked with its light on in the lot of a business on Feb. 14 around 11:45 p.m.

Cavanaugh allegedly told the Gladwin officer he would not leave the parking lot until the female passenger said "please."

The Gladwin officer asked if Cavanaugh had a weapon. After Cavanaugh exited the vehicle, police found his service revolver under a jacket in the car behind the driver's seat.

The gun was loaded with a round in the chamber, according to police reports.

Police asked Cavanaugh to submit to a Breathalyzer test and said he registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.17, more than twice the state's standard for intoxication.

A person carrying a concealed weapon is subject to a 93-day misdemeanor if they register a blood-alcohol level of .10 or more.

Instead of arresting Cavanaugh, the Gladwin officer took Cavanaugh and his companion to a motel, where they had previously reserved a room, and had his car towed, reports state.

McBride said Cavanaugh also was suspended last year for his involvement in an incident when another former deputy, Jeffrey Brecheisen, confiscated illegal fireworks from a traffic stop and used them for his personal use.

"His conduct was very unbecoming," said McBride. "In two instances, he was violating the same laws he was sworn to uphold."

Gladwin County Prosecutor Tom Evans said there was insufficient evidence to charge Cavanaugh because his car was parked, the investigating officer failed to perform other field sobriety tests and the officer did not arrest Cavanaugh on the spot.

The Otsego County Board of Commissioners' personnel committee this month backed the sheriff's position and denied a grievance Cavanaugh filed against the sheriff's department.

Tom Kreis, the northern Michigan staff representative for the Police Officer's Labor Council, has requested an arbitration hearing for Cavanaugh. The process could take up to six months and the decision made by the arbitrator would be final.

Kreis said he has never seen as much interest in a case in the 20 years he has acted as a business agent for the police labor union.











Comments go to action, not integrity – Letter to the Editor
Gaylord Herald Times
2004/03/24
http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2004/04/14/news/opinion/opinion03.prt


To the Editor:

The recent letter written by law enforcement officers Blake Davis and John Jenkins regarding the prosecutor stated that an inaccurate letter in this paper "attacked our prosecutor." That is just not so.

No one has made any claims about the prosecutor's integrity or commitment. What everyone has written about are some of the prosecutor's decisions and statements following those decisions.

I would agree that being a police officer or a prosecutor would have difficult moments, especially in dealing with loss of life. No one is perfect. But we generally expect more out of our public servants than we do out of everybody else, including ourselves.

Let's say I were to agree that Otsego County sheriff's Dep. Nick Cavanaugh should have been fired for using bad judgment when he was found drunk by police officers pulling his female companion's hair while his service revolver was in his back seat. Cavanaugh claimed the allegations were unfounded because he was not prosecuted.

I would not be attacking Cavanaugh by saying that or saying that he ought to drop arbitration and pursue another line of work since he obviously can't control himself. Hence the phrase, "conduct unbecoming of an officer." If Cavanaugh didn't have a badge, he might have been arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior, or drunk driving, or assault, and he most certainly wouldn't have received a courtesy ride back to a motel room.

That whole incident was a good example of the police protecting each other, just like what Davis and Jenkins are trying to do. While the situations are different, our prosecutor and the former deputy as public employees are both subject to public scrutiny for their actions, on duty or off duty. Wouldn't it be something if whenever someone's private sector job was in jeopardy their peers wrote to the local paper to cut down detractors and glorify their comrade's dedication to service. Would it matter?

For some strange reason, public servants seem to think their jobs are sacred and that once they have them, they are entitled to keep them along with every possible pay increase and benefit they can get. Good, hardworking people in the real world are dumped onto the unemployment line everyday, left to pick up the pieces and move on. All it takes many times is a single mistake or a budget cut, and you're out of a job. So with that in mind I don't have a problem with the idea of replacing the prosecutor.

In answer to Brian Morgan's desire for the local majority party to field a different candidate for prosecutor - that's just not going to happen because unless there is a smoking gun involved, political parties will remain loyal to their incumbent. Furthermore, I would not want to see someone run for that office who is inexperienced in practicing law. If Hesselink is the only name on the ballot, then the only choice for many people will be to not cast a vote for that office as a protest vote.

Officers Davis and Jenkins mentioned the oaths taken by law enforcement employees to follow the Constitution. I sure hope the police take the Constitution very seriously, and that they remember that the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, includes the freedom of speech, which is what letters to the editor are all about. Without our freedom of speech the authorities would become the thought police.

Robert Weber, Gaylord











Deputy contests firing: No charges filed in Gladwin incident; deputy says he'll seek state arbitration
By Michael Jones
Gaylord Herald Times
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2004/03/24/news/t

GAYLORD - While the Gladwin County Prosecutor's office filed no charges following an alleged incident involving Otsego County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Nick Cavanaugh last month in Gladwin, Otsego County Sheriff Jim McBride fired the 29-year-old deputy several days later.

On Tuesday, a week after he was denied reinstatement of his job after meeting with the Otsego County Commissioners Personnel Committee March 15, Cavanaugh said he plans to take his case to a state arbitrator.

According to a Feb. 15 incident report from the Gladwin City Police, officers there allegedly found Cavanaugh in possession of his department-issued firearm while intoxicated. That four-page report was later forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review and to determine if any charges would be filed against Cavanaugh.

According to Cavanaugh, the allegations were unfounded. "The prosecutor came to the conclusion that I did not break the law," Cavanaugh said Tuesday of his decision to protest his dismissal and take his termination from the Otsego County Sheriff's Dept. (OCSD) to an arbitrator.

Tom Kreis, northern Michigan staff representative for the Police Officer's Labor Council, who is representing Cavanaugh, said the paperwork to file for arbitration has been completed. The next step in the process would be to have an arbitrator appointed to the case and then schedule a date and location for thehearing. "This is not something which is typically resolved quickly," said Kreis, who noted the arbitrator's decision is final.

Gladwin Chief of Police Charlie Jones confirmed Cavanaugh had not been charged in the incident but he declined comment on the prosecutor's decision not to prosecute the OCSD deputy. Prosecutor Thomas Evans was unavailable for comment.

According to the Gladwin incident report, officers allegedly observed Cavanaugh's vehicle parked in a private parking lot in Gladwin around 11:45 p.m. Feb. 14. He was reportedly with a female companion when city police approached the vehicle. The report indicated officers allegedly observed, "that the driver (identified as Cavanaugh) was grasping the back side of the passenger's head by the hair with his right hand." When asked to explain his behavior, Cavanaugh allegedly told police he was sitting in the vehicle and would not leave until his companion stated "please."

According to the police report, Cavanaugh appeared intoxicated. He reportedly held up his deputy's badge to identify himself, and when asked whether he had a weapon, indicated he did not have it on his person, but that it was in the vehicle. Officers reportedly instructed Cavanaugh to exit the vehicle and eventually allegedly found his department-issued weapon, a Glock, Model 27, 40-caliber handgun, on the backseat floor of the vehicle behind the driver's seat, under a jacket.

During the course of the investigation, Cavanaugh allegedly blew a .17 on a preliminary breath test and reportedly appeared to be agitated and argumentative with officers; .08 is the level at which a person is considered legally intoxicated. Cavanaugh was not arrested and authorities reportedly transported him to an area motel. Police filed an incident report which was then turned over to the Gladwin County Prosecutor's office.

Cavanaugh was not arrested and authorities reportedly transported him to an area motel. Police filed an incident report which was then turned over to the Gladwin County Prosecutor's office.

After the OCSD was informed of the incident, Cavanaugh was placed on administrative leave for the two days he was scheduled to work that week, while McBride investigated the incident prior to firing Cavanaugh.

Although Cavanaugh may not have been charged, Sheriff McBride contends Cavanaugh's alleged behavior and actions were sufficient grounds for his firing on Feb. 20. According to McBride, the episode was preceded by several other incidents during Cavanaugh's five-year tenure with the department which also allegedly led to disciplinary action.

"Nick was a good deputy but he just didn't use a lot of common sense at times," McBride said of the former employee.

Cavanaugh was suspended last summer for his alleged involvement with another deputy in keeping confiscated fireworks for their own personal use.

The other deputy, Jeffrey Brecheisen, was fired last year upon completion of an investigation into the incident.











Otsego County sheriff's Dep. Nick Cavanaugh fired
Sheriff's deputy dismissed
Gaylord Herald Times
March 01, 2004
http://gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2004/03/01/news/police_courts/police_courts03.txt

GAYLORD - For the second time in six months the Otsego County Sheriff has terminated the employment of one of his deputies.

Undersheriff Matt Nowicki announced Wednesday five-year veteran deputy Nick Cavanaugh no longer works for the department. Cavanaugh's last day of work was Feb. 20.

According to Nowicki, Cavanaugh's dismissal stems from a personal matter which is still under investigation. Nowicki said he was not at liberty to discuss the dismissal, but he did say it is not related to the Jan. 24 traffic fatality which killed 17-year-old Matt Whitman on Old 27 North in Livingston Township.

Cavanaugh was the officer who conducted the investigation of the fatal crash. The driver of the vehicle, Michael Lee Jones, with whom Whitman was riding, was charged with negligent homicide. Judge Michael Cooper dismissed that charge at Jones' preliminary hearing Thursday.

Last August deputy Jeffrey Brecheisen was fired after he allegedly kept confiscated fireworks for his own personal use. Brecheisen had been with the department for three-and-a-half years.










Sheriff's deputy dismissed
March 01, 2004
http://articles.petoskeynews.com/2004-03-01/fatal-crash_24058334

GAYLORD - For the second time in six months the Otsego County Sheriff has terminated the employment of one of his deputies.

Undersheriff Matt Nowicki announced Wednesday five-year veteran deputy Nick Cavanaugh no longer works for the department. Cavanaugh's last day of work was Feb. 20.

According to Nowicki, Cavanaugh's dismissal stems from a personal matter which is still under investigation. Nowicki said he was not at liberty to discuss the dismissal, but he did say it is not related to the Jan. 24 traffic fatality which killed 17-year-old Matt Whitman on Old 27 North in Livingston Township.

Cavanaugh was the officer who conducted the investigation of the fatal crash. The driver of the vehicle, Michael Lee Jones, with whom Whitman was riding, was charged with negligent homicide. Judge Michael Cooper dismissed that charge at Jones' preliminary hearing Thursday.

Last August deputy Jeffrey Brecheisen was fired after he allegedly kept confiscated fireworks for his own personal use. Brecheisen had been with the department for three-and-a-half years.









[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This guy is a hot-head who should never be allowed to carry a gun. I was pulled over by him for having my bright lights on. Subsequently, my car was impounded because the license plate sticker had expired...even though it was freezing cold night and my seven-year old was in the car. I wasn't speeding...he was simply looking for a drunk driver...sorry to disappoint you, Nicky.

I later called him to express my frustration with his heavy-handed approach. Later, I was told that he stated, "I'd like to see him (me) outside of court." That sure sounds like an implied threat to me.