‘The release of the report today is a violation of state records law,’ says Ofc. Deras lawyer

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The lawyers of Officer Miguel Deras are responding to the report that University of Utah officers ‘inappropriately’ commented on McCluskey extortion photos, released Wednesday.

J. C. Jensen with Nelson Jones Legal says the report conducted by the Department of Public Safety proves his client did nothing wrong.

“He knows the truth, we know the truth, we are just waiting for everybody else to jump on board so he can move ahead,” Jensen said.

FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2018, file photo, a photograph of University of Utah student and track athlete Lauren McCluskey, who was fatally shot on campus, is projected on the video board before the start of an NCAA college football game between Oregon and Utah in Salt Lake City. The parents of a University of Utah student killed on campus by an ex-boyfriend said Monday they feel a fresh sense of betrayal after new allegations surfaced that a police officer investigating her report kept explicit photos that were intended as evidence. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Officer Deras who now works for Logan City is accused of inappropriately sharing Lauren McCluskey’s images to other officers from his personal cell phone while working at the University of Utah Police Department.

McCluskey was murdered in 2018.

“The agency did not provide agency issued cell phones, and Mr. Deras accessed his work email on his cell phone. He didn’t save any of the images to his cell phone and the SBI report on page one confirms that,” said his lawyer.

Ofc. Deras was never interviewed by state investigators. Jensen says they spoke with the Department of Public Safety’s State Bureau of Investigation for specific information to determine if they needed to do an interview.

“We were not provided any of that information by SBI,” he said.

His lawyer says state investigators were provided an interview conducted with Logan City Police.

“There is no real reason and necessity for two interviews for the same issue to be conducted. In fact, when it comes to law enforcement officers, it is something that we frown on,” said Jensen.

The lawyer says the issue at hand is the hearsay from the officers, and the comment Officer Deras can look at McCluskey’s photos whenever he wants.

Nelson Jones Legal Lawyer for Ofc. Miguel Deras.

“A group of I believe three officers may have been in the hallway following a morning briefing where Mr. Deras showed the photographs. Mr. Deras adamantly denies that this ever happened,” said Jensen.

What Jensen says did happen was a violation of his client’s rights.

“The release of the report today is a violation of state records law,” he adds.

Jensen says, releasing disciplinary files before an appeal isn’t permitted in the state of Utah. They will figure out who put the info out there and review all the evidence presented in the case against their client.

Jensen adds, “He has continued to be an officer, there have been no issues with him continuing to be an officer and that is the ultimate goal. Let him continue to do what he is doing. He is good at it, people respect him for what he does, and let him continue to do it.”

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