I-TEAM: Explosive claims of sexual harassment involving probation department supervisor

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CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-TEAM is investigating explosive claims of sexual harassment involving a local probation department supervisor.

Reynaldo Feliciano just resigned from Cuyahoga County Court after sitting at home on paid leave for a year.

He is not facing any criminal charges, but the court just turned over the investigation file to the I-TEAM.

Records show five female probation officers came forward making claims relating to sexual harassment.

One said, “Rey…kissed me on the neck…put his hands down my shirt.”

Another said, “He closed the door…unzipped his pants.”

Another spoke of “…unwanted conduct of a sexual nature…”

We went to see Feliciano at his home.

He said, “That’s false.” So we asked why did he resign? He answered, “’Cause I wanted to resign.”

When we mentioned the statements made by the women, Feliciano also said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He added, “I’d be more than happy to sit and do an interview with you, but if you guys are ‘gonna make stuff up….”

When we offered to show him the documents, he said he didn’t want to see them.

This gave the I-TEAM more reason to wonder how Feliciano can claim he knows so little about this. Seven months ago officials at the court sent him a letter. It outlined the statements from probation officers. In fact, the court even gave the names to Feliciano and his lawyer.

We’ve also found, during the investigation, Feliciano earned $122,000 in pay and benefits sitting at home on paid leave.

The court spent $16,000 hiring an outside firm to do the investigation. The court said it did that to avoid conflict since Feliciano was a supervisor.

We went looking for Administrative Judge John Russo. Friday, he wasn’t around. But we had stared requesting an interview with him days ago. No luck.

Feliciano insisted, “I did nothing wrong. I admit to no wrongdoing.”

In fact, the court did not forward any complaints to be reviewed by prosecutors. We’ve learned the court, instead, considered much of what happened consensual.

Some of the woman making statements said, yes, they’d had relationships with Feliciano. But they say the comments and inappropriate conduct continued long after that.

A spokesman for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’ Malley said in a statement, “We are unaware of the facts and circumstances regarding this former employee. We are confident that if there is any suggestion of criminal wrongdoing the court would refer the matter to this office.”

Finally, we asked Feliciano to tell us why he resigned, just now, after so much time off on paid leave.

He responded, “’Cause I wanted to be here with my family. That OK with you?”

Continuing coverage, here.

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