Police officer Michael Mirino, who was dismissed from the DeLand Police Department in 2017 after he lost methamphetamine evidence he seized from a suspect, has been given his job back by the city the same city that fired him.
The evidence was never found.
Mirino, who has had several disciplinary actions mounted against him during his career, is back on the job as a patrol officer after the city of DeLand promised to give him one last chance to “salvage” his career in policing.
The most recent incident happened after he and two other police officers stood watch as members of probation and parole searched the home of a man out of jail on supervision.
Drug contraband, specifically methamphetamine, was found inside the home, including a “white powdery substance,” which Mirino tested to confirm was methamphetamine, according to a police report.
The 19-year-old suspect was charged with violating his probation, but the drugs seized by officer Mirino never made it to the evidence room and none of the three police officers called to the scene, including Mirino, made any mention of the meth in any of their written arrest reports.
Mirino failed to do so even though he was required to document the seized contraband.
After that incident, due to the seriousness of his previous reprimands and suspensions, Mirino was fired by brass.
The two other officers involved in the missing meth incident received lighter punishments.
Previously, Mirino has been discipline and suspended for unprofessional conduct including failing to conduct a thorough investigation, missing a court date to testify, accidentally discharging a firearm and sleeping while on duty.
Now officer Mirino returned to work on April 29 and is back on tax payer’s pay roll following an agreement made by the union and the city in order to avoid the arbitration process.
“He’s back and he’s a patrol officer,” DeLand spokesman Chris Graham told the Daytona Beach News-Journal on July 26.
Greg Cook, of the International Union of Police Associations, the police union that represent officers in DeLand, said Mirino’s “discipline was excessive” and said he deserved to get his job back.
According to the agreement made between DeLand and Mirino, Mirino’s conduct was “serious in nature” and constituted a “terminable offense under the totality of the circumstances.”
But the city has now decided that Mirino deserved an opportunity to be given one last chance to correct his behavior.
As part of the agreement, Mirino will receive no back pay or pension credit for the 18 months he was off the job.
He will be given the same salary he had when he was terminated from his job at the DeLand Police Department, which amounts to $44,553 per year.