Arbiter's report reinstates Marco police officer fired last year for misconduct

— A Marco Island police officer fired last year for insubordination and repeated misconduct has been reinstated by an independent arbiter.

John Derrig

John Derrig

Officer John Derrig, 28, will be back on the job Jan. 1 after arbiter Thomas G. Humphries found he was wrongfully terminated by then-police Chief Thom Carr in December 2010. He will receive six months of back pay, with the other six months serving as an unpaid suspension.

Internal investigators found Derrig made several mistakes during a September 2010 arrest, including failing to turn on his recording device, not attaching a photo of the arrested suspect’s bloody face to his report, and making conflicting statements to internal investigators. Derrig also was accused of using excessive force while arresting George Channing Dascoulias, then 28, in a restaurant restroom on drug charges, but those accusations were not sustained.

“John may have made some mistakes, but the bottom line was he didn’t intentionally do anything inappropriate and he never should have been fired,” union lawyer Michael Braverman said.

Humphries’ report, dated Dec. 12, said Derrig’s actions reflect sloppiness and negligence rather than insubordination.

In failing to turn on his recording device, Humphries wrote Derrig “is found to more closely approximate neglectful oversight rather than an instance of gross and wanton insubordination.” Derrig’s arrest report was the result of “sloppy and inattentive work products rather than gross disregard for clear supervisory directives,” Humphries wrote.

Derrig ultimately was fired for recurring insubordination. Administrators said he repeatedly failed to turn on his dashboard camera, received an excessive amount of citizen complaints and was accused of harassment.

Humphries, however, found police administrators hadn’t taken the proper steps to correct Derrig’s behavior before his firing.

“Had the employer, concluding that (Derrig’s) behavior was rapidly declining, meted out increasingly harsh penalties and warnings, (Derrig) may well have heeded those messages and changed his ways,” Humphries wrote.

Marco Island police Capt. Dave Baer said Friday that the city has received the arbiter’s report, but he declined further comment until he consulted with agency officials. Baer wasn’t immediately available Monday morning.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Related Stories

Comments » 53

woozygirl writes:

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeres Johnny.

marcofriend writes:

Well, the police department might as well cost us money too. We have out of control continual spending from our City government, our public utility is costing us an arm and a leg and they still are hiding the true costs that everyone will be picking up.
I'm a pro-city person, but I think we're getting to the edge of the cliff and the City will not be sustainable with the leadership we have. We have three City Councilers who have either been forclosed on or are in foreclosure (check collierclerk.com) and they want to "lead" us in the right direction by showing us how to spend money.

woozygirl writes:

in response to marcofriend:

Well, the police department might as well cost us money too. We have out of control continual spending from our City government, our public utility is costing us an arm and a leg and they still are hiding the true costs that everyone will be picking up.
I'm a pro-city person, but I think we're getting to the edge of the cliff and the City will not be sustainable with the leadership we have. We have three City Councilers who have either been forclosed on or are in foreclosure (check collierclerk.com) and they want to "lead" us in the right direction by showing us how to spend money.

Very well said friend.

Johnnymarco49 writes:

Carr surely made a mistake by not following through on this correctly. But, this cop will again be fired and this time hopefully the old man can get it right.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RayPray writes:

If you discount all the old geezers driving at 31 mph, isn't most of the real crime taking place on the island a consequence of our knuckle-walking cadre of Keystone Kops?

duhuhuhha writes:

"made several mistakes","neglectful oversight", "actions reflect sloppiness and negligence", "sloppy and inattentive work products".
Do I understand this correctly?? but all these things were presented in a positive note?

Sherminator, if you had ANY honor at all, you would have requested this defense and "union involvement" regarding your firing, be dropped, and silently leave this area before embarrising yourself with those comments, as a defense for your case.

Disgraceful, simply discraceful. And now I suppose he should feel proud of the reasons he is back on the force? And we should feel safer?

marco97 writes:

I can't believe they are bringing this guy back, he is a joke and the most unprofessional office on the force. This is why we need to go with Collier county sheriffs office for police service.

JohninMarco writes:

Let ever resident take notice. This clown was know by citizens as well as his fellow officers for his " tuning up " of the public. But Capt. Baer charged him with not turning on his recorder. Both Baer and Carr knew of this jerks action but would never admit it was occurring. We just gave this fool a 6 month paid vacation. Now Capt. Baer MUST go. We see now why he was passed over for the chief's position. The upper management of this dept. has not a clue.

mahiman writes:

Lets hear it for the Union Lawyers. Defend anyone, no matter how bad the employee! Don't worry, he'll be walking on eggshells now because Don will take him down on his next screwup!

marco826 writes:

Something smells about this arbitration. We put this guy back on the street carrying a gun? His face says attitude. Sad day when Unions dictate to management. Agree, he will be fired again, none too soon as far as I'm concerned.

Brisla writes:

This used to be such a nice, peaceful place. Until cityhood.

alanint writes:

I have had two run-ins with this clown. Both of them negative. He is a loose cannon. I'm just hoping nobody has to get hurt before he is fired again.

Marconian writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mayor_McCheese writes:

This is not going to turn out well.

Now, emboldened by this decision, this criminal with a badge will be more apt to commit his next crime.

If you think this one was expensive, wait until his next victim sues the city and then gets a huge punative damage award because even though the city was aware of his violent, aggressive and criminal propensities (as evidenced by this event), they still put him back on the streets with a gun.

Genius.

marco826 writes:

Not a lot of fans here Mr. John...All we have in life is our reputation...

RayPray writes:

in response to mahiman:

Lets hear it for the Union Lawyers. Defend anyone, no matter how bad the employee! Don't worry, he'll be walking on eggshells now because Don will take him down on his next screwup!

The union lawyer only did his job.

The doofuses on the City and cop payroll failed to do theirs.

happy6 writes:

this is an embarassment to the entire island...
chief carr was correct in dumping the clown...and a union arbitrator is always going to find for the union...we (marco) are the laughing stock of sw florida...the city council is a joke as well...a complete bunch of morons.

Marconian writes:

lol.... I must have hit the bone with my comment those that saw it and now seeing it gone we all know it must be true. I only stated what i heard from the horses mouth just like Marco to hide the truth. I guess i shall cease from stating facts or i could be the next one getting tuned up...lol as if......hahahaha!

NobodysFool57 writes:

It'll be interesting to see if Ed D's case gets to arbitration. I would love to hear the Union lawyer argue that 80 mph on Collier Blvd. without the emergency equipment activated is not unreasonable. I hope his victim has retained a good lawyer, I wish her well.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

in response to Marconian:

lol.... I must have hit the bone with my comment those that saw it and now seeing it gone we all know it must be true. I only stated what i heard from the horses mouth just like Marco to hide the truth. I guess i shall cease from stating facts or i could be the next one getting tuned up...lol as if......hahahaha!

As was mine. Harassing women sexually* we should have put. Why should this be removed? This is not offensive, racist, or derogatory. It is merely the truth. Do some investigative work NDN and you'll uncover a lot. Now we have 33 officers on the force. WHY? so we can solve who stole whose water heater from a construction site? Start on 6th ave lol

mrz333 writes:

This man is not a responsible, professional law enforcement officer and does not belong on the city's force. People who have had exchanges with him have and will attest to this. Most us would say that officers are deserving of our respect given the nature of their jobs. Respect extended to Officer Derrig, though, was not returned. He believes himself to be some kind of super cop and putting him on patrol is a danger to the entire community who will pay for his errors in judgment.

Commander writes:

This guy did more than 90% of the work in the dept. You can't make everyone happy when your taking people's freedom away. With that said, I'm sure you people want this Officer to respond to your house when someone is breaking into your home, don't you. ...........

mrz333 writes:

Commander: I'm not sure I understand you're saying "taking peoples freedoms away". As a cop there are attitudes you display to bad guys. This officer display those attitudes toward all. And, NO, I would not want him to respond to any call to aid. I would prefer one of the other terrific men and women we have in our fine PD

JohninMarco writes:

in response to Commander:

This guy did more than 90% of the work in the dept. You can't make everyone happy when your taking people's freedom away. With that said, I'm sure you people want this Officer to respond to your house when someone is breaking into your home, don't you. ...........

NO! And how many of his arrests were dropped for poor police work!

August8 writes:

Let's see?

Commander writes:

Look at the county web site and see for yourself.

August8 writes:

This is called "Due Process", yes, the person(s) that listen and rule on these cases are normally union oriented and very liberal. Rarely do they rule completely in favor of the employer, very rarely?
If in fact this officer is problematic, care must be exercized now in supervising him and documenting his performance. The larger problem is anything can be deemed harrassment as a result of the ruling and it can quickly turn into a civil litigation if not managed carefully.To put in mildly, the department is in effect married to this officer as a result of this outcome so everyone should get used to it.
In the future it would be wise to have an in house attorney review and support disciplinary matters prior to execution, that' is where the system has been for a long time. Yes, other dismissed employees may very well benifit, and in some cases rightfully, due to what has transpired with this employee, it's called a pattern of poor administration.

Commander writes:

Just ask yourself why is everyone leaving the police dept.
They are losing 4 people next month.

marco826 writes:

Read it and weep...license plate light was out...
http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/a...

MSmith writes:

That's was that nice lady who filed a law suit, Oh by the way, she lost. That's old news my friend. Don't you see the picture? I got one for you to look up, Wrongful termination. It's very expensive. You or one of your comrads must be someone Derrig put in the slammer. The city should stop waisting money on arbitrators, attorneys and court cost. Give Ed,mike and clif jobs back and call it a day.

marco97 writes:

MSmith, I have a better idea, let's disband the police department and go back to CCSO for police service since the MI police experiment is not working out well for us at all.

August8 writes:

The folks in this City want a police department, they have stated this clearly, now with a new chief perhaps things will progress more smoothly?
These personnel problems are part of doing business and like law suits, will happen from time to time. This man getting reinstated may be the correct couse of action, time will tell.He has real job security now, so as citizen's let's hope so.

kevdiaz69 writes:

I give him 6 months...him and the roid rage officer will screw up again........

woozygirl writes:

Johnny is back in action. End of story.

marco97 writes:

If there was a vote today for a Marco PD the results may be different then 10 years ago, same goes for becoming a City.

August8 writes:

Where is your proof?

marco97 writes:

in response to August8:

Where is your proof?

What proof do you have? an election 10 years ago? How many times did we vote not to be a City,5 6?

NobodysFool57 writes:

I WAS here when the police referendum was held. As far as residents voting at the polls, the cops lost. The vote was carried by absentees, snowbirds who were promised extra security at no additional cost. The annual police budget then was 1/3 of what it is today. Many of the former absentees are now permanent residents or moved on before things soured in recent years. I seriously doubt if a vote of confidence today would yield the same results. Same goes for City incorporation. I believe the REAL purpose of running-up nearly $300 million in public debt was so the local government could never be dismantled without settling-up with the creditors first, and that ain't never, ever gonna happen.

marco826 writes:

in response to MSmith:

That's was that nice lady who filed a law suit, Oh by the way, she lost. That's old news my friend. Don't you see the picture? I got one for you to look up, Wrongful termination. It's very expensive. You or one of your comrads must be someone Derrig put in the slammer. The city should stop waisting money on arbitrators, attorneys and court cost. Give Ed,mike and clif jobs back and call it a day.

Never been in the slammer Smitty...I can tell you that arresting and physically handling that woman for a light out on a license plate and lack of registration is aggressive...Johnny needs to tone it down, a lot. She was no criminal.

August8 writes:

Fool57 --- Exactly, the people who voted against the first are gane or drank themselves to death, can't drive drunk, who wants to live here, blasted.
The new, more affluent population wants what they have, I was here for both and would challenge your logic and assumptions on a new vote, won't happen.

marco97 writes:

in response to August8:

Fool57 --- Exactly, the people who voted against the first are gane or drank themselves to death, can't drive drunk, who wants to live here, blasted.
The new, more affluent population wants what they have, I was here for both and would challenge your logic and assumptions on a new vote, won't happen.

What planet do you live on, "more affluent population" I've lived here 20 years and I never saw the island look this bad. There are forecloses on every street, many because of the STRP. The island looked more affluent years ago.

August8 writes:

marco97 -- in terms of those that reside there, not those that went into foreclosure, those that could not afford to be there in the 1st place. Anyone that can afford to pay for the water, um, affluent, right??

marco97 writes:

8, You can buy a waterfront home on the island for $275,000 and less for a nice inland home. Do those prices seem to be affluent prices to you?

marco826 writes:

in response to marco97:

8, You can buy a waterfront home on the island for $275,000 and less for a nice inland home. Do those prices seem to be affluent prices to you?

oh yeah, you can get waterfront on the island for $275K...rat infested and dilapidated...a knock down among knockdowns..

August8 writes:

marco97--If it's not a shack, sign me up. Your problem is pretty clear anyway.

marco97 writes:

3br 2 bath, 1500 sq ft. 2 car garage, boat lift, built in late 80's not a knock down sold a few months ago for $275,000.

MarcoMaven writes:

One wonders who paid off the arbiter? Don't worry, this nasty, mean-spirited guy who enjoys harassing people will screw up again. It's in his nature, and when it happens Don Hunter will be able to rid the department of him AGAIN.

marco826 writes:

This guy might be better suited to be a Prison Guard at Florida State Prison...not sleepy Marco Island...of course he wouldn't survive there.

MSmith writes:

maven = Fagan

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features