CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I TEAM has learned that a Cleveland Police supervisor fired after a massive chase in 2012 turned deadly has now returned to work after winning his job back through arbitration and the courts.
A police internal memo called a Divisional Notice reflects Sgt. Michael Donegan has been reinstated and temporarily assigned to the training academy.
The chief’s office says officers who have been off the job for a length of time go through a retraining period at the academy.
Donegan was fired and other supervisors demoted after a long chase in 2012. It ended with officers firing 137 shots and killing two suspects. Police believed the suspects had fired at an officer. No gun was found in the car at the end of the chase.
Six officers were recently fired for their roles in the shooting.
Donegan and the demoted supervisors went to arbitration, and an arbitrator ruled the punishment was too harsh. Courts then upheld the ruling after the city appealed.
The Fraternal Order of Police, union for the supervisors, says Donegan will be eligible for about 2 years and 9 months worth of back pay. However, the FOP points out that Donegan will remain on restricted duty after the retraining until yet another court fight in the case gets resolved. That involves a dereliction of duty criminal charge which is being reviewed by an appeals court.
Meantime, the officers fired in connection with the shooting at the end of the chase are just beginning their appeals to get their jobs back. That includes officer Michael Brelo. He was cleared of criminal charges tied to the shooting.