On March 26, 2010, Otsego County Sheriff Jim McBride dismissed Deputy Nick Cavanaugh from the Sheriff Department for "a major policy violation". It was not the first time Sheriff McBride had reprimanded or dismissed Deputy Cavanaugh.
DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. February 14, 2004:
domestic violence incident; drunk driving; loaded gun.
DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. August 2003:
Reprimanded for taking confiscated fireworks for own personal use.
Sheriff’s deputy fired for ‘major violation’
April 06, 2010
By Michael Jones, Staff writer
GAYLORD - Less than one week after the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) fired 11-year veteran deputy Nick Cavanaugh March 26 for “a major policy violation,” Sheriff Jim McBride said his department received a letter from Cavanaugh stating his intention to seek arbitration to get his job back.
Because of the pending request for arbitration McBride said he could not comment on the reason for the dismissal of the 35-year-old deputy, who had been placed on a paid administrative leave March 9 prior to his March 26 termination with the department.
McBride did say he had reviewed the personnel issue incident involving Cavanaugh with the prosecutor’s office before making his decision to terminate the road patrol deputy. The sheriff said the issue concerning Cavanaugh’s dismissal was not a criminal matter.
He indicated the firing had nothing to do with Cavanaugh’s credibility as a witness in a recently completed trial heard by Judge Janet M. Allen in 46th Circuit Court. The trial, which began March 16, resulted in a mistrial March 29 when jurors were unable come to reach a verdict in the assault with intent to murder against defendant James Platte Jr.
Cavanaugh was a witness for the prosecution in that trial.
This is not the first time Cavanaugh has been in trouble with the OCSD nor the first time he has been fired by McBride.
In 2004, McBride terminated Cavanaugh after reviewing a police report relating to an alleged off-duty incident in Gladwin involving the deputy.
According to a February 2004 incident report from the Gladwin City Police, officers allegedly found Cavanaugh in possession of his department-issued handgun while intoxicated inside a parked vehicle at a private parking lot in Gladwin. The weapon was allegedly located by officers on the backseat floor of the vehicle under a jacket.
The four-page report was later forwarded to the Gladwin County prosecutor’s office for review. Gladwin County Prosecutor Thomas Jones declined to bring charges against Cavanaugh for the alleged incident, indicating there was not sufficient evidence to bring charges.
According to the incident report, Cavanaugh allegedly blew a .17 on a preliminary breath test. The report indicated Cavanaugh had not been arrested and authorities reportedly transported him to an area motel. In a Feb. 25, 2004 letter, Jones questioned numerous procedural matters found in the report as part of the basis for his decision not to charge Cavanaugh.
After the OCSD was informed of the incident the deputy was placed on administrative leave and then fired two days later. Despite not being charged in the February 2004 incident, McBride indicted Cavanaugh’s alleged behavior was sufficient grounds for termination and had been preceded by several other incidents during Cavanaugh’s then five-year tenure with the department.
In the summer of 2003, Cavanaugh had been suspended for his alleged involvement with another deputy for keeping confiscated fireworks for their own personal use. The other deputy, Jeffrey Brecheisen, was fired from the department as a result of the incident.
Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence