A city-led probe unearthed a number of problems with the unit, including mishandling of evidence, booking evidence without proper documentation as well as the possibility of missing drugs and money. The probe also found that seized items, such as loose change or a CD in a seized vehicle, were improperly accounted for and that officers kept "trophies" from drug busts for themselves and for use as training aids.
As a result, state and federal prosecutors have tossed more than 120 cases linked to the unit.
West Valley City officials argued Thursday that their internal affairs reports are sufficient enough to represent their case, but Coyle's attorney argued that those reports would be considered hearsay, and the city must require other officers from the now-disbanded narcotics unit to testify in person.
"It would be very unfair to reopen their case," argued Martha Stonebrook, the city's attorney.
She said all the former narcotics officers other than fired officer Shaun Cowley; Detective Kevin Salmon, who remains on paid administrative leave; and Coyle have accepted their discipline and moved on and shouldn't be forced to re-address the matter.
"They have the legal obligation to prove my client did something wrong," Coyle's attorney Erik Strindberg responded. "We're entitled to hear [from them] first-hand."
Strindberg also moved to close Coyle's trial, which is slated to run Jan. 27-28, to the public. The Salt Lake Tribune objected to the closure.
The commission plans to rule on Coyle's motions at 7 a.m. Thursday.