Officer Suspended Over Female Inmate Encounter

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CLEVELAND-- A city police officer has been suspended over his actions with a female inmate.

Patrol Officer Ken Kirk received a 30-day unpaid suspension; that's the maximum Director of Public Safety, Martin Flask, can hand out.

The discipline was issued following a brief hearing in Flask’s office Tuesday afternoon.

Kirk was found to violate police department policies when he entered a female inmate’s hospital room back in January.

He was accused of having an inappropriate conversation with the inmate.

“That conversation clearly, by his own, was sexual in nature. It should not have happened; but it did happen and when you engage in that kind of conduct there are consequences,” Flask said.

Flask said the inmate did not file a formal complaint, but told other officers about the conversation with Kirk and they immediately contacted internal affairs.

The woman also said Kirk took pictures of her. Officials say those pictures were evidentiary in nature.

“We agreed to this because of this rule violation. We agreed to the 30 days and we will move on from here,” said Police Union President Jeff Follmer.  “He’s a good officer.”

Since the officer agreed to the suspension, he will not be appealing the discipline, union officials said.

Kirk declined to discuss the matter.

Union officials said the officer is upset about the matter because he has been on the force for 18 years and has no prior rule violations.

“He is sorry for his actions,” Follmer said.