CLEVELAND-- The FOX 8 I TEAM has found only a letter of reprimand issued against a Cleveland firefighter investigated for months after being accused of bad behavior during last summer’s Republican National Convention.
A written reprimand and a warning has been issued to Battalion Chief Bradley Englehart.
The investigation began after a convention volunteer accused the firefighter of groping her. But she decided not to prosecute, and no criminal charges were filed.
Then, Englehart faced administrative charges for drinking inside the convention security zone. He also faced questions for taking that volunteer to the Fire Training Academy and allowing her to use the bathroom in an RV parked there. The RV was not supposed to be there.
The punishment could've been much more than the letter of reprimand. The fire chief first reviewed the case at headquarters. But he sent the case to city hall where the safety director has more power to hand out more punishment. That didn't happen though.
Assistant Safety Director Ed Eckart said, “At the end of the day, everybody’s entitled to due process.” Eckart says the internal investigation showed Englehart didn’t drink on duty and did not misuse his credentials. And the city never considered the claims of groping since no criminal charges were filed. Eckart added, "There were some behaviors that in hindsight could've maybe been done differently. In the director's final assessment, it didn't rise to the level of a suspension."
The outcome stunned that volunteer. She told us by phone from out of state, "That's it?
He needs to have more punishment than that. That letter of reprimand is a slap on the wrist. Barely a slap on the wrist." She added, "I think justice was not properly served, at that point."
The firefighter’s union, on the other hand, believes city hall got it right.
We reached out to Englehart through the union for comment and did not hear back.