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Grand Rapids police Lt. Janiskee fired for handling of drunk driving case

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 16:10:17-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A Grand Rapids police officer has been fired for his role in a drunk driving incident involving a Kent County assistant prosecutor.

The City of Grand Rapids announced Friday afternoon that Lt. Matthew Janiskee has been terminated retroactive to January 27th, when he was suspended without pay.

Three officers, Sgt. Thomas Warwick, Officer Adam Ickes, and Lt. Janiskee were all suspended for their handling of Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Kuiper’s drunk driving incident which happened in November 2016.  Kuiper was found driving the wrong way down a one-way Grand Rapids street, after crashing into a parked car, injuring one person. Crews who responded to the crash gave Kuiper a ticket, but did not give Kuiper a breathalyzer test.

All three officers were recommended to be fired, but only Janiskee is losing his job.  After earlier termination hearings, Ickes accepted a 30-day suspension without pay and Warwick accepted a 160-day suspension without pay and a demotion.

Janiskee has filed a federal lawsuit against the city for violation of privacy issues in regards to a call to an “unrecorded” line the officers used the night of the incident to discuss how to handle the case.  Janiskee was the only one of the three who was not on the scene of the crash.

In an audio recording from the night of the crash, Ickes describes Kuiper as being “hammered.” Kuiper resigned from the prosecutor’s office after the incident.

The city says that Janiskee has the right to file a grievance if he believes his firing is in violation of the police union contract.