Shooting Sports News

Michigan Man Fired for Turning In Stolen Gun Found On the Job

A snub nose revolver, similar to the one Chevilott found (though the one he found was a hammerless Smith & Wesson)

An employee of Wayne County’s Department of Public Services received a nasty reward for turning in a stolen gun he found while working the morning of May 3 – he was fired.

John Chevilott, a groundskeeper for the department for the past 23 years, was mowing a lawn near Detroit, Michigan’s Brightmoor area when he inadvertently ran over the loaded snub-nosed revolver. Chevilott secured the weapon in his team’s van, hoping that a Detroit Police Department car would pass by so it could be safely turned in while he and his team continued working.

No law enforcement showed up, however, so Chevilott finished up his shift and returned the county van to the department’s road yard. Later in the evening, he turned the gun in to the local Garden City police. After looking up the gun in police records, they discovered it had been stolen from St. Clair Shores in 2005, on the other side of Metro Detroit. Police commended Chevilott and he went home.

However, not long after he turned in the gun, Chevilott was notified by the department that he had been fired for possessing a firearm on county property, justifying the termination via the department’s policy that employees are not allowed to possess weapons on work property. His termination papers also cite Chevilott’s alleged insubordination and unauthorized access to the road yard that he returned the company van to. Chevilott’s foreman, who had knowledge of the gun’s brief presence on official property, was suspended for 30 days.

Chevilott retorted that he had not in fact “brought a gun to work” in the manner that the policy is referring to, and that there is no official policy for dealing with weapons found on the job. “All I did was secure the situation to make sure nobody else got hurt or killed,” he said in an interview with Fox 2 News.

Thomas Richards, president of the Local 101 Union, said that union is now fighting against the accusations and filed an official grievance. “They did a good thing – they took a gun off the streets, and they’re being punished,” Richards stated in the Fox 2 interview. “There’s never been any policy brought to light on what we should do when they find a weapon.”

At the end of the Fox 2 piece, Chevilott says he’s now fighting to get his job back. He was two years away from retirement.

Check out the full video report from Fox 2 embedded below.

Wayne County Worker Fired after Finding Gun on the Job: MyFoxDETROIT.com

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7ROC5U4LGGSFGFXHVHR3IKXV3Y hammondkeys

    Well, the union is maybe fighting for him now, but the union is likely the reason he got fired to start with. Unions negotiate no-holds-barred airtight agreements and if the possession of a firearm is part of the agreement then, sadly, it is what it is. Employers know that if they budge an inch to the left or an inch to the right then they have ‘given ground’ to the union – so, they dig their heels in an enforce the handbook with little regard for the reality of the situation.

    Ie., anyone not bound by these agreements would likely have been treated as an individual. This unfortunate fellow is probably being treated as a faceless union member who broke a rule… period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-R-Fonseca/1551203307 John R. Fonseca

    While I’m very pro-gun, it sounds like he is a dumb-ass for
    taking the gun into his work vehicle and driving around with it. You can’t say
    he didn’t have any opportunity to notify the police from the scene where he
    found it, especially with everyone having cell phones these days. You can call
    out to anyone walking by and ask them to call 911 and they will. The story is a
    little fishy….

    • Ms. Red

      I had the same thought. He could have found some way to call police to the scene, & leaving it where it was (while watching to make sure nobody else took it) would have been safer than handling it.
      But if you’re going to handle it, don’t turn it in! Stick it in your bag (assuming you have a concealed carry license) & quick put it in your POV when you get to the base.

  • steve

    These people (the company) are a bunch of idiots and you can rest assured that this man will get his job back. This is another case of someone doing the right thing gets punished in our liberal society. This is a case where you have to throw out the RULE BOOK and use just a little common sense. I’ll bet you that as the media storm unleashes on this company, they will be more than happy to give him his job back just to avoid all the bad press. Thanks John for doing the right thing!!!! You should be commended not fired!!!!!!

    • TexasFats

      It’s not a private company. It is the Wayne County government Department of Public Services.

      • les

        Thank you for noticing. Sometimes I think people want to bash something without reading the story ergo all the company bashing.

      • Knes15

        Sorry to inform u but this whole government is a company ..

    • Les

      This is not a company but the local government. Everyone wants to blame a company. There is none.

      • les

        Thank you for noticing. Sometimes I think people want to bash something without reading the story ergo all the company bashing.

      • redbarron

        So what?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ManxRx Janet McCain

    Close to retirement get rid of him now we won’t have to pay Safeway did this yrs ago to alot of employees close to retirement. Just wrong…….

    • les

      This is a government job. He should get it back. He will be able to live off taxpayers for the rest of his life once he wins his appeal.

  • Ms. Red

    Completely unreasonable response from the employer.
    Idiots.
    Though if he really wanted to be sure it was safely taken care of he shouldn’t have handled it. Just leave it where it is & call police.
    This is what happens when people aren’t educated about firearm safety,
    & when employers have zero-tolerance (zero-thinking) policies.

    • Les

      Remember the employer is the local government

  • bxbastid

    @hammondkeys, me and most of my friends and family are union members. From PBA, Fire Dept., building trades, CWA etc etc etc. You have nom idea WTF you’re talking about. I can’t even begin to address your idiotic statement. It’s because workers ger treated this way that makes unions necessary.

  • goodtoberight

    O.K. maybe this guy is not an Einstein but he did not deserve to be fired and lose his pension. Monday morning quarterbacking is not justifiable or fair.
    This is just another case of socialist union mindless rules. The unions must get a major power haircut.

  • Jano

    Get his job back…Can you spell “LAW SUIT”? Mental Cruelty.

  • Les

    First of all he is not working for any company or business or the like. He is a county employee so lets not demagog a business type. Second as usual some public officials, most of who are elected, are idiots. This never should have happened and this is what unions are for. Not putting dues money into corrupt polititions who promise them everything, but taking care of the rank and file at the grass roots level. This is the only thing public unions should due beside wage negotiations. Nothing else. If they concentrated of protecting the rank and file that deserve it they will have more support. I hope he wins this.

  • Tony Wilhite

    Sounds to me he did the right thing and got punish for it. I guess that’s why people don’t do what’s right anymore because situations like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Jamieson/1411029199 Scott Jamieson

    They must have a Zero-Intelligence policy.

    • StPete

      – Just like the people putting up some of these comments :^)

  • moviejcd

    Please sue the county, so you can retire on the large settlement you will receive..you deserve it.

  • Gryff

    And this demonstrates why the Detroit region not only “is” dying, but “deserves” to die.

  • Sig

    Everyone should call Wayne County’s Dept. of Public Services and ask for “the ignorant person who fired a good Samaritan”. Flood his/her desk with good old fashioned public protest.
    This is a perfect example of how Gov’t. is NOT always right. There has to be some common sense involved when determining laws and regulations.
    I agree with John R. Fonseca’s comment below. It is a bit fishy but Mr. Chevilott tried to do the right thing in the end and had his life turned upside down by an inflexible official and/or policy. I suspect there may be some truth in Janet McCain’s comment as well. Gov’t entities have become “corporate minded”. It seems to be all about the power and the money.
    Don’t allow this issue to die a quite death! A man’s livelihood is at stake.
    Just imagine yourself being force to eat dog food in your old age.