One of the officers who was fired over his handling of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, high school shooting will get his badge back.
Sgt. Brian Miller will receive full back pay and seniority when he returns to his duties at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association Union said Wednesday.
Miller was one of four officers who were fired last year after an investigation deemed they had “neglected their duties” when they responded to the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 17 injured.
An internal investigation found that Miller, who was the first supervising officer who responded to the scene, hid behind his car while shots rang out inside the high school. The union said an arbitration ruled the “BSO violated Sgt. Brian Miller’s Constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.”
The sheriff’s office had issued its decision two days after the 180-day window mandated by police regulations, the report said.
“We were prepared to address the termination, Sgt. Miller’s dismissal, on the merits. But preliminarily, we filed the motion for summary judgment because BSO had violated his procedural rights,” Miller’s attorney, Gary Lippman, said during a news conference Thursday.
The general counsel for the sheriff’s office told ABC News it is “exploring all legal options to address this erroneous decision.”
“The arbitrator ruled on the case without conducting any evidentiary hearing whatsoever and without taking the testimony of a single witness,” the general counsel said in a statement. “The decision was based upon a technicality that we believe was wrongly decided.”
Sheriff Gregory Tony, who recently received a vote of no confidence from the union over an issue for personal protective equipment, told a reporter for ABC affiliate WPLG that the arbitration ruling wouldn’t affect his decision-making.
“I stood by the termination then and I stand by it now,” he said.
The Florida Sun-Sentinel first reported Miller’s reinstatement Wednesday. The paper said the officer made $137,000 in 2018.
Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina, 14, was killed in the shooting, tweeted that Miller should resign.
“He owes it to law enforcement officers who risk their lives each and every day,” he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fired Sheriff Scott Israel for his handling of the shooting and replaced him with Tony.
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Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school, also lost his job last year and was charged with child neglect charges after an internal investigation found he retreated and took cover when the shots rang out.
Two other deputies who responded to the scene, Edward Eason and Josh Stambaugh, were also fired.
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