Disciplinary hearing scheduled for officer Michael Brelo
CLEVELAND – A disciplinary hearing is scheduled today for Patrol Officer Michael Brelo, accused of violating several policies during a 2012 deadly police chase and shooting.
The hearing is set to be held in front of the Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath.
Brelo, 31, was acquitted in May, of criminal charges relating to his actions in the crash, but has remained on unpaid leave.
He has told Fox 8 previously that he is grateful for the support of the union and his family.
Brelo and 12 other officers that fired their guns during the shooting are now facing hearings. The officers could face discipline ranging from 10 days off to termination. It is unknown when the discipline will be issued, but highly unlikely it will be announced following the hearing.
The disciplinary hearing is held behind closed doors and not open to the public. Brelo is facing several internal charges including, engaging in a pursuit without permission from a supervisor, leaving the city boundary without permission, operating a zone car at excessive speeds and using force contrary to Cleveland Division of Police policy.
“Our expectation and hope would be that this would be an independent, fair, and impartial hearing,” said Steve Loomis, president of the police union. ” That hope is tempered by the fact the former chief of police is presiding over these hearings. Given the conclusions of the Attorney General’s investigation the ex chief of police and current safety director should not have any role in deciding these matters.”
Loomis also said there are other reasons why he believes the director of Public Safety should not be overseeing these hearings.
“In addition, there are lawsuits from certain officers pending against the safety director and for this reason alone he should have voluntarily recused himself from further involvement. Therefore for the above mentioned facts we do not have confidence in the impartiality and fairness of these proceedings,” Loomis said.
Brelo had faced manslaughter charges, but Judge John O’Donnell found Brelo was justified when he fired several shots at suspects Timothy Russsell and Malissa Williams.
The chase began November 29, 2012 after an officer at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland thought someone in the suspects’ car fired a shot at him. It ended in East Cleveland, when 13 Cleveland officers fired 137 shots . Both suspects died. No weapon was found in the suspects’ vehicle.