Staffing Changes after Firefighters Indicted

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CLEVELAND--  Thirteen Cleveland firefighters have been indicted for theft in office by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.

The indictments were released Wednesday by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty.

According to the indictment paperwork, each man was indicted on one count of theft in office, a 3rd degree felony, and one count of receiving improper compensation, a 1st degree misdemeanor. The documents show that the offense occurred on or around “9/30/2008 to 12/31/2010.”

Some shift swapping is allowed; but prosecutors said the men abused the privilege.

Records show the men paid other firefighters to do their job, so they could work other full time jobs; all while collecting a city paycheck.

The following list includes the men named in the indictment:

Calvin Robinson, 52, of Cleveland

Kevin Dever, 42, of Cleveland

Bernard Fronhapple, 51, of Rocky River

Barry Kifus, 40, of Painesville

Kevin P. Kelly, 52, of Olmsted Falls

James Oleksiak, 44, of Cleveland

Robert Graham, 50, of Lakewood

Michael Milano, 53, of Broadview Heights

Nicholas Rucella, 49, of Cleveland

Gary McNamara, 48, of Bay Village

Peter Corso, 47, of Concord

Thomas Jurcisin, 51, of Cleveland

Daniel Losteiner, 45, of Cleveland

McGinty said the 13 men “failed to work 2,000 hours (approximately one year)”

The worst case was “Calvin Robinson failed to work 8,456 hours (approximately 4 ½ years)”

McGinty said the indictments are part of a larger investigation.

In July, 2011 an audit conducted by the Cleveland Division Of Internal Audit was turned over to the Cleveland Police Department.

In April, 2012 the first firefighter charged for the payroll abuse was then 46-year-old Timothy Debarr.  He received 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

At that time Public Safety Director Martin Flask said, “This is a systemic failure with administrative duties and responsibilities within the division of fire.”

Wednesday the city responded with a statement saying, “given that this is now a matter before the court, the city of Cleveland will not comment."

It went on to say, “These firefighters will be immediately relieved of duty. An administrative pre-disciplinary hearing will be scheduled, at which time it is expected the firefighters will be suspended without pay pending adjudication of the charges…”

Staffing will be adjusted within the fire department in the meantime to ensure the safety of all citizens.

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