Suspended police officer returns to force

PARKERSBURG – An officer suspended for two years with pay is back at work this week after federal officials declined to pursue charges concerning possible civil rights violations.

Parkersburg Police Officer Nathan Deuley was suspended with pay in May 2011 and on Monday returned to active duty.

“He is back to work,” Mayor Bob Newell said Thursday. “He is not out on the streets yet.”

Deuley had been named as a defendant in at least two lawsuits alleging police brutality before being placed on paid suspension.

In November 2011, Newell asked the FBI to investigate possible civil rights violations concerning police officers, including Deuley.

“The reason (Deuley) was on paid leave was because of an allegation of improperly force in an arrest. That was one of the things the (federal) Department of Justice was investigating,” Newell said. “The Department of Justice did not want to pursue it on a federal level and we decided not to pursue it on a local level. It will be handled internally with the disciplinary process.”

Newell said officials were meeting Thursday to go over the disciplinary procedure.

Newell also said Deuley will go through a retraining program and will be paired with a field trained officer, or FTO.

“He will be with a field trained officer for a few weeks,” Newell said. “It’s an accelerated version of what new guys go through after they come out of the academy.”

Deuley filed a lawsuit in December 2011 against the city, Newell and Police Chief Joe Martin alleging discrimination and retaliatory action by the administration. He also alleged Newell encouraged police brutality, which Newell has denied.

Newell said Deuley’s suspension and the disciplinary process have nothing to do with the lawsuit.

“They are unrelated,” Newell said.

John Triplett Jr., a Marietta attorney representing Deuley, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.