OCTOBER 7, 2016
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A former Cleveland Police Officer has been found guilty of insurance fraud.
Edwin Millan had only been working with the Cleveland Police Department for 3 days when he was arrested, back in September of 2015.
Investigators said Millan claimed his car was stolen, when he had actually set it on fire in Murray County himself.
On Thursday, a jury convicted him of insurance fraud, tampering with evidence, and making false reports.
He will be back in court on a later date for sentencing.Millan was one of three police officers Cleveland's Police Chief fired back in early October.
The Cleveland Police Chief has fired three officers after being on the job just three days.
Gibson says the decision came after their involvement in individual scandals that brought embarrassment to his department.
"I didn't feel like they could come back into the police department and be effective and also have the trust and the level of integrity that they would need to have," Gibson said.
Both Carl Walls and Chad Nave, were found to be engaged in separate extramarital affairs back in August. The woman in one of those affairs was later charged with filing a false report after claiming Walls sexually assaulted her.
"Their extramarital affairs were carried out or facilitated through their job," Gibson said. "There was sexual conduct while they were working."
Edwin Millan is the third officer who was terminated Wednesday.
Last month, a Bradley County Grand Jury indicted Millan, charging him with insurance fraud over $10,000, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false report.
After the indictment, the Cleveland Police Department put Millan on administrative leave.
A police report obtained by NewsChannel 9 says on May 17th, Millan reported his car stolen from outside his apartment the night before.
Millan listed the car's value at $25,000, and claimed he had no idea who would have taken his vehicle.
The night before, however, a burned-out car with tags registered to Millan turned up in Murray County, Georgia on Highway 225.
A report says deputies in Murray County found a red gas can in the passenger side floorboard of the car, and suspected that the car had been deliberately burned.
The indictment says Millan offered someone $500 to take his car and burn it, but the indictment sent to NewsChannel 9 has the name of that person redacted.
Gibson says, "That was the basis of his termination and that's the kind of conduct we cant take a chance on leaving him here.'
Thursday Chief Gibson told us he was able to fire those officers because the city council voted on a resolution that changed the process for administering disciplinary action.
"I do have a little more leeway now to bring someone in and go ahead and administer the discipline, make the recommendation with [the city manager's] final approval, but her final approval comes as it is being administered," Gibson said.
City Manager Janice Castell says before now the chief, or any department head, was required to send her a written recommendation in order to fire someone or administer disciplinary action.
"It does speed any process up because it removes the days notice required suspension and it removes the weeks notice that it requires for dismissal," Casteel said. "Those time frames are gone."
On Thursday evening, the chief held a meeting with the entire department about what he expects going forward, after he fired those officers Wednesday.
Gibson says he too has made some policy changes within his first week as head of the department.
He says every officer was required to sign a new update code of ethics this week.
Casteel says every officer has the opportunity to appeal his or her dismissal if they wish to.
Before Thursday, the city manager was a part of both the decision to remove an employee and she was also the hearing officer if the employee appealed.
On Thursday the city council held a special meeting to change that.
Now, a man named Mark Travis will be the hearing officer in her place, and attorney Gregory Grisham will represent the city during appeals cases.
Casteel says Grisham's role will be to prepare department heads for a hearing.
She says Thursday's 's vote by the council to hire those to men is in response to a court order that came down a few weeks ago.
"What this does is puts us in compliance with the judge's ruling," Casteel said. "in it she states that since I am the decision maker for the city approving those removals, I cannot also be the hearing officer."