Michael Brelo to remain fired, 5 other officers in police chase to return to job: I-Team

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

CLEVELAND — Multiple sources tell the FOX 8 I TEAM, Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo will not be getting his job back after getting fired for his role in a deadly chase and shooting. Those sources are familiar with a draft of a ruling written by an arbitrator.

However, five other officers who were fired for their roles will get their jobs back, according to the draft. It was released to both union and city officials earlier this week.

The incident happened in November 2012, and police shot and killed two suspects after firing 137 shots. The shooting happened after a long chase across town that involved dozens of police cars. It began when police believed someone in a car had fired a shot at an officer.

A source close to the case tells the I TEAM, the draft was released so lawyers for the city and police union could review it for any factual errors, but the arbitrator's decision is not expected to change. The final report is due to be released Thursday, sources say.

While 5 officers will be going back to work with the ruling, the I TEAM has also learned they will not be getting back pay for the time they’ve been off the job.

Meanwhile, the city and the police union will have a few weeks to determine if they want to appeal the ruling.

We’ve reached out to officials for the union and city hall for comment.

In January 2016, the city fired the six police officers. Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams both died. Their families reached a multi-million dollar settlement with the city after filing a lawsuit.

Before Brelo was fired, he was charged with manslaughter, and he was found not guilty of any criminal charges.

The other officers fired were Det. Erin O’Donnell, Officer Brian Sabolik, Officer Wilfredo Diaz, Officer Michael Farley, and Det. Chris Ereg.

Diaz and Sabolik both told the I-Team previously that they were hoping to get their jobs back.

"This is my dream job; this is my success story," Diaz had said.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson released the following statement on the arbitration:

“Today, an arbitrator issued an opinion regarding the discipline issued to 12 officers who fired their weapons in the police pursuit of November 29, 2012 that resulted in the death of two people.

The City terminated six of those officers and gave lengthy suspensions to the other six. We are pleased that the arbitrator confirmed the severity of the violations committed by the officers and that he upheld the termination of Officer Brelo and that he upheld the lengthy suspensions for the six officers who the City had not terminated.

We believe that the City’s decision to terminate the other five officers was justified and should have been upheld. We acknowledge that the arbitrator concluded that those officers committed serious policy violations; however, we are reviewing our options regarding the officers whose terminations were not upheld.”

**Continuing coverage**

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.