May 18, 2012

Michigan worker fired after turning in gun found on job--for possessing a gun at work

Sometimes it doesn't pay to do the right thing. Just ask John Chevilott, a former public-works employee in Wayne County, Mich., who earlier this month found a loaded, snubnosed revolver while mowing grass in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, turned it in and was promptly fired.

"It was damaged, so it could've went off. Surprisingly, it didn't kill the guy on the mower," he told Detroit TV station WJBK. Chevilott (pictured at left) said the crew was waiting for Detroit police to swing by and pick up the gun, but they never showed.

So the veteran employee of the Department of Public Services did what he thought was the right thing: Finished the job and then turned the gun into police later the same evening.

Police told Chevilott he did the right thing by getting the gun off the streets, he said. A check revealed that it had been stolen from a nearby suburb in 2005.

Where he ran into trouble is with his superiors, who saw things rather differently.

A Wayne County spokeswoman told WJBK that according to department rules employees aren't allowed to possess a weapon on work property.

So after 23 years -- just two shy of retirement -- Chevilott was fired for violation of department policies, even though he found the gun while on the job and didn't bring it to work. His foreman, who knew about the incident, was suspended for 30 days.

WJBK reports that Chevilott, who wants his job back, was also fired for insubordination and unauthorized access to the department's road yard.

The union representing Chevilott, Local 101, has filed a grievance and intends to fight all three accusations.

Union President Thomas Richards told the TV station, "There's never been any policy brought to light on what we should do when they find a weapon."


  1. We all know why he was fired ... with just two years shy of retirement. Now they don't have to pay his benefits. Corporation/Government at its worst.

  2. Apparently it would have been better or him to
    leave it there and let a 10 year old find it.

  3. I guess it couldn't fire but would the City have been liable if a child had found the gun and it was fireable?

  4. Blind obedience to the dictates of a corporation is never a good idea. The corporation is an entity of the world the Matrix, a machine that has no life functions but is recognized as a living person by government and other corporations. They steal your energy and provide you illusions of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

  5. What the local gov't did seems to me to be nothing more than a cheap way to deny this man retirement benefits.

  6. Shame on you Wayne County Michigan. Americans should be appalled at your actions--or lack there-of in doing the right thing.

  7. You never, ever call or go to the police for anything, especially if you're "doing the right thing."

  8. Do you people understand yet? Where you live?

  9. He should've called the police & told them about the gun on the grass, doing the right thing ain't always doing the right thing in the system.

  10. Did his employers plant the gun?

  11. Um, Civil Servant 'Protocol' dictates that you call the police FIRST and make sure no one goes near it! You DON'T pick it up OR even touch it!

    I also hope he sues their stupid and ignorant asses off and wins a HUGE settlement and has an AWESOME retirement!!~