Former SLMPD Cpt. wants Civil Service Commission hearings open t - KMOV.com

Former SLMPD Cpt. wants Civil Service Commission hearings open to the public

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Former Police Captain Ryan Cousins is fighting back after he says he was wrongfully terminated. (Credit: KMOV) Former Police Captain Ryan Cousins is fighting back after he says he was wrongfully terminated. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – For the first time, a former St. Louis Police captain who said he was wrongfully terminated is speaking out.

Former Captain Ryan Cousins worked for SLMPD for nearly 20 years. Last year, he came under investigation for conduct unbecoming and false reporting and was let go.

"My life has pretty much been on hold and I just can't wait for it to be over," said Cousins. 

Cousins was commander of the city's sixth district, which includes the areas of Baden, portions of O'Fallon Park and Walnut Park East and West. 

"It was a joy and it was a passion for me to work over in that neighborhood," he said. 

In January, 2016, questions came up about how he handled a scene in the Baden neighborhood. An internal and criminal investigation began right away.  Cousins sid he was wrongfully terminated in May.

"After dedicating 20 years for the department and having nothing in my record to imply what they are implying," said Cousins. 

Cousins took his concerns straight to the Civil Service Commission. There, it is determined if appropriate action was taken. Hearings have been delayed since May and News 4 tried to attend one Monday morning, but it was closed to the public.

"We wanted it to be open so the public can hear exactly what is going on. If I am a public employee working for a public agency, then it should all be public," he says. 

"The reasons the hearings are closed are two fold, one is because we have a city privacy ordinance that protects any individually identifiable personal information and is also in accordance with the Sunshine law so we want to protect people's privacy," said Richard Frank, Commission Secretary. 

The situation is taking a toll on Cousins and his family. 

"To see him go through this is basically affecting me and my kids as well. It is just hard, we have no insurance, just figuring out how we are going to make it," said Antoinette Cousins. 

Cousins added, "I just want my day in court to clear my name and move on.". 

The next hearing is set for March 13th. We reached out to the Saint Louis Police Officers Association who told us the union worked hard to make sure police officers have the same privacy protections, including keeping termination proceedings closed. We also reached out to the Police Department, who referred us to the City Counselor's office. City Counselor, Michael Garvin said that it is a personnel matter and Cousin's attorney is resorting to "create a circus strategy." 

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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