Detroit firefighter accused of collecting paychecks while in jail

The department has referred the accusations to the internal affairs unit for further investigation


DETROIT — A Detroit firefighter has been accused of collecting paychecks and overtime while in jail.

Fox2Detroit reported that the firefighter is the subject of an internal investigation after concerns were raised about Steven Cooley's work hours. Police arrested Cooley in December for drunk driving after he crashed into another car. His blood-alcohol content was 0.24 — three times the legal limit — and he was also carrying a pistol.

He was charged with a DWI and carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence. Cooley was convicted and sentenced to 93 days in jail on Feb. 8. He was released April 22.

A source within the fire department filed paperwork on Cooley's behalf to have him report to the hazmat unit, which appeared as if he was working and getting overtime while in jail, according to the report.

"DFD first became aware of this issue on Monday, April 18, 2016," Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said. "At that time, the fire department undertook an examination of Mr. Cooley's work status. Based on initial findings, the department has referred this matter to DPD's internal affairs unit for further investigation."

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