LOGAN — The Logan City Police Department has fired officer Miguel Deras after a review determined he mishandled evidence in the Lauren McCluskey case, while employed by the University of Utah. The termination was announced days after an investigation found Wednesday that he and a group of officers made inappropriate comments about explicit photos she had submitted as evidence in an extortion case shortly before her shooting death.
In a press release, Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said “Deras, a probationary employee, was released from employment after a thorough internal review of the recently completed Department of Public Safety investigation.” The termination was effective immediately.
Deras is originally from Logan. He initially worked for the Logan Police Department, as an animal control officer, while attending the police academy. Upon graduation, he moved to Salt Lake.
In September 2019, Deras was interviewed and re-hired by the Logan police department. He later accepted a position as a patrol officer.
At the time Deras rejoined the department, Jensen said the choice to offer a job to the former animal control officer came after an in-depth investigation determined Deras had done nothing wrong.
In May, Jensen launched an internal investigation into Deras after allegations surfaced that he had saved the images of McCluskey to his personal cellphone. He later showed off the images to other officers before her 2018 slaying.
In Friday’s press release, Jensen explained the conclusions drawn in the DPS report are inconsistent with the high expectations and standards placed upon officers by the community and the department. He said, “Our continuing efforts to hold sacred the public’s trust and our duty to serve and protect has resulted in [Friday’s] decision.”
A lawyer for Deras says he showed the photos in a professional setting and denies making inappropriate remarks.