Cop Alleges Fallout After Probe of NBA Star

     FLINT, Mich. (CN) — A Michigan police officer suspended without pay claims in court that his only infraction was keeping an open mind about a former NBA star accused of sexual assault.
     The May 4 lawsuit in Genesee County Circuit Court comes nearly two months after the arraignment of Mateen Cleaves, a six-season NBA point guard whom the Detroit Pistons first drafted from Michigan State University.
     Prosecutors say 39-year-old Cleaves, now an analyst for CBS Sports in his retirement, sexually assaulted a woman at a Mundy motel in September 2015 after a charity golf outing.
     Reporting on Cleaves’ arraignment by the Detroit Free Press says Genesee County prosecutors had initially been in charge of the case, but had the case transferred to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office “because of a possible conflict of interest with a potential witness in the case.”
     Brian Ogle says he had 18 years on the force with the Mundy Township Police Department when he participated in the September 2015 investigation of Cleaves.
     Claiming “he would not acquiesce to defendants’ pressure to portray Mr. Cleaves as guilty of sexual assault,” Ogle says he “found himself at odds with” the department and the township.
     Ogle says he emailed Wayne County prosecutor Lisa Lindsay in November to inform her that he “suspected violations of Michigan state law and/ or regulations committed by defendants to a public body.”
     Upset anger at Ogle for reporting their suspected violations, the township and police department were “upset with plaintiff as a result of his investigation in the investigation of Cleaves,” the 5-page complaint states.
     Ogle says he received notice on Feb. 4, 2016, “that defendants considered him in violation of defendants’ rules and regulations stemming from an incident including Mateen Cleaves on Sept. 15, 2015.”
     The officer allegedly received a two-day unpaid suspension later that month.
     Alleging violations of the Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act, Ogle seeks $25,000 in damages.
     Cleaves, of Grand Blanc, faces charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual penetration, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
     He is out on a $150,000 personal bond and has his next court date on May 17.
     Dan Atkinson, police chief for Mundy Township in Swartz Creek, confirmed that the department still employs Ogle but said he could not otherwise comment on the lawsuit, saying the police department had not yet been served.

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