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Home / Articles / Archive / News & Columns /  Feature | Final Shot: Salt Lake Police fired Rob Joseph nine years ago. He?s not about to get over it. Page 1
News & Columns

Feature | Final Shot: Salt Lake Police fired Rob Joseph nine years ago. He?s not about to get over it. Page 1

By Ted McDonough
Posted // December 16,2008 -
nAs a child growing up in Queensland, Australia, Rob Joseph loved Serpico, the classic 1973 true-crime thriller featuring Al Pacino as “an honest cop” who turns state’s evidence about corruption in the NYPD. Serpico made Joseph want to be a policeman.
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“I thought that being a cop suited my desire to help people,” Joseph says. In retrospect, he adds, “That was gullible.”

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Joseph realized his childhood dream in 1997, joining the Salt Lake City Police Department at the advanced rookie age of 36. It took him 10 years because he first needed to become a U.S. citizen. But finally he had the badge and the gun. He was married to a future beauty queen and was quickly dubbed the “Hollywood cop” for his consultations on police movies filmed in the city. But his gig didn’t last.

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In 1999, just two years after joining the force, Joseph was fired in spectacular fashion—arrested based on evidence gathered by his own brothers in blue and charged with aggravated assault for shooting at a drunken driver.

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Typically, the story would end there. For Joseph, it was just the beginning. Convinced he was being set up as a sacrificial lamb by a city under pressure to rein in a shoot-first police department in time for the 2002 Winter Games, Joseph went Serpico on the SLCPD, charging he was a victim of police and political corruption. He’s driven city attorneys and generations of mayors and police administrators to distraction ever since.

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At 48, Joseph is a self-described anticorruption crusader and buddies with the real Frank Serpico. He’s spent the last nine years unwinding a conspiracy story surrounding his firing to rival any in the cop movies on which he’s worked. After years of suing in every court he could try—and getting thrown out of every one—Joseph finally convinced someone to take another look: a little-known Utah judicial body known as the Grand Jury Panel of Judges.

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Frank Serpico, he says, “encouraged me to keep fighting and never give up.” Joseph thought the advice was finally paying off.

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 27,2009 at 04:15 What is laughable is that everyone involved in this case was proven wrong except for Joseph, yet he is the one paying for their mistakes. I think the city should be bankrupted paying Joseph back. I think he should own that whole city!

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 27,2009 at 04:07 It is so funny that a judge dismissed the mal-practice lawsuit because the officer didn’t pay for it.... So, it’s who PAYS that wins out, huh judge???? So, you get enough corrupt judges together, then you gotta win out in the long run, is that it? This story is a joke and Salt Lake City is worse than Chicago, New York and Los Angeles combined!!!!

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 21,2009 at 15:19 I will be sending this article to every Leo and non-Leo I know. Also, if traveling in the mid-west, I will be sure to avoid SLC and Utah all together.nnWhere was the state AG and the Utah State Police? Why wasn’t a state investigation opened as soon as the initial bogus reporting came to light?nnAnd the Feds don’t mind visiting local police departments down here when they think something is amiss... Thankfully, that has been few and far between.nnThe locals (in Virginia) and the VSP look like poster candidates for the perfect Leo after reading this story. nnThis officer deserves to be Leo in a state that appreciates its law enforcement. The state of Utah should be ashamed for looking the other way during such a travesty of justice at the local level.nnIf the SLCPD is going to treat one of their own this way - what would they do to a visiting tourist....Thanks, but no-thanks - this civilian (related to Leo’s) isn’t about to find out.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 21,2009 at 06:32 It is sad to see how we are treated by the very departments that demand we do more with less, demand aggressive enforcement of laws, and as soon as a complaint, valid or not, we are tossed to the wolves. I hope the officer involved has filled criminal conspiracy and individual charges against all memebers of the department involved in the deception and coverup with the federal authority. nnnnI am a firm believer in doing all so called cops, brother officers who work in IAD who commit , assist, or cover up this type of behavior. They will do anything to garner favor with the bosses for personal gain, or prevent being transferred to the street. They need to be removed and a message sent to all others that that type behavior will not be tolerated by us.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // January 16,2009 at 20:58 I commend Joseph for sticking to his guns.. I don’t believe i could sit back and take it neither. Honestly they say is supposed to be the best policy. I’d want fellow officers and fellow citizens of Utah or any other city for that matter to know the TRUTH....I would like to know whose protecting and serving my community!!! The criminal openly admitted to soooo much guilt and he apparently walks away a happy cat..Where’s the justice??? He was intoxicated and had warrants for his arrest and uses his vehicle as a weapon. I believe I would have done the same thing..If this officer wouldn’t have done his job who knows who the criminal would have killed. At the end of my shift I want to be able to go home to my family as does any other good officer. It’s quiet apparent this is a story on an officer doing his job to the best of his ability and gets absolutely NO backing from his upper brass or the criminal justice system. If all the facts were on the table there should be NO question.. This was an officer doing his job..nI’d back ya 100%.

 

 
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