Widow of Phoenix officer who took his own life fights for pension benefits

It was an emotional day of testimony as the ex-wife of a fired Phoenix Police officer fought for death benefits for the couple's children.

Rebecca Tiger said her ex-husband was suffering from PTSD and never should have been fired from the police department.

It's the second time that Rebecca has gone to the pension board. She says it is an emotionally exhaustive process.

The President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association was there to support her, and told the board they cannot look at mental health like they do a physical injury.

Craig Tiger's ex-wife Rebecca wiped away tears as she made her plea to the pension board. "It is hard, it's hard, and I would just like to have some closure," said Rebecca Tiger.

Craig Tiger killed himself in November after he was fired following a DUI arrest. But his ex-wife says he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that developed after he was involved in an officer-involved shooting earlier in his career.

"If Craig was competent, Craig would be here, that's it," said Rebecca.

Craig was fired by the former Phoenix Police Chief who had a zero tolerance policy for officers who were arrested for DUI.

Still, Rebecca believes their children should be eligible to receive pension benefits.

"Because he was terminated he lost all benefits. Now that he died as a result of his on-the-job injury, his children, our children do not receive benefits," she said.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association backs the Tiger family saying the officer should never have been fired to begin with.

"It was very heart-wrenching to watch him go through what he did, knowing it was an on-the-job injury that caused his ultimate death," said Joe Clure.

The board agreed to allow an independent medical examiner to take a second look at Tiger's records.

"I'm hopeful with the next step the board will make the right decision and grant benefits to the children," said Rebecca.

No decision was made; the board says it could be weeks or even months away.
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