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Dearborn fire chief returns to work after drunk driving arrest, but still not charged | Metro Detroit News | Detroit


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Steve Neavling

Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray has been reinstated after being suspended for two months following his arrest for drunken driving.

About two months after his arrest for alleged “drunk” driving, Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray is back on the job — and still hasn’t been charged.

City officials allowed Murray to return Monday under a cloak of secrecy, surprising many Dearborn employees.

Mayor Abdullah Hammoud’s office declined to comment on Murray’s return until Tuesday, five days later. Metro timetable started asking questions.

“After careful consideration, my administration has decided to reinstate Joseph Murray as chief of the Dearborn Fire Department,” Hammoud said in a written statement. “The choice to retain Chief Murray stems from a balance between a two-decade career in public service and the humility of not evaluating a person in their darkest moments. »

Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray.  - City of Dearborn

City of Dearborn

Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray.

Hammoud announced on August 31 that Murray had been placed on administrative leave.

“We take this matter seriously,” Hammoud said at the time. “As the facts become known, we will take appropriate action.”

Murray was arrested around 2:45 a.m. Aug. 29 after Dearborn Heights police said they spotted him speeding and weaving into traffic. Murray refused to take a breathalyzer test and insisted he had drunk “four or five beers,” according to the body camera footage.

“Let’s be honest, you’re completely torn,” one of the officers replied. “You’re completely drunk.” You can barely speak. You can barely stand.

Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Eric Fucking Church,” in reference to the country music star, Murray responded intelligibly.

It was initially unclear why Murray was not charged. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office initially said Metro timetable that he had not received a warrant request from the Dearborn Heights Police Department.

In drunk driving cases, charges are usually filed shortly after arrest.

But Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, later said police sent the warrant request “to the wrong unit.” Prosecutors are currently reviewing the request.

Metro timetable I couldn’t reach Dearborn Heights Police Chief Jerrod Hart, but an employee in the department’s records division said the case was “ongoing.”

Murray, president of the Southeastern Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs, joined the Dearborn Fire Department in 2004 and was promoted to fire chief in 2012.

A Chicago native, Murray earned three degrees from Madonna University in Livonia, according to his city biography. He then earned a master’s degree in business administration in 2005, a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2007, and a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University in 2011.

Murray supervises more than 125 firefighters who work at five fire stations.

Metro timetable I was unable to reach Murray for comment.

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