PARMA, OH – The Fox 8 I-Team has found a veteran Parma Police officer punished after internal investigators say they found him sleeping at home while on duty.
Officer Michael Yonek received a suspension after what happened last month.
Police radio tapes show officers couldn’t find the patrolman, and he wasn’t answering his phone.
Finally, police say they found his cruiser at his house in the driveway running. Officers got no answer at the door at first, then they say they saw Yonek on the couch, and at last, he came to the door.
The I-Team tried reaching Yonek multiple times by going to his home and by calling, but we were unable to reach him.
Yonek’s personnel file shows he’s had decent job reviews. However, in 2005, a document shows he was scolded by bosses twice for sleeping on the job.
For this incident, he got a 3-day suspension with 7 more days possible if he broke any other department rules. Records show Yonek agreed to work the 3 days off without pay. He has also been taken off patrol and placed on desk duty.
Some taxpayers and, privately, some officers told us, they’re disgusted by what happened.
Lt. Kevin Riley emailed a statement on behalf of the Parma Police Department:
“This type of behavior by one of our own officers is not only disappointing, but detracts from the excellent work performed by our police officers every day in the community. Ptl. Yonek acknowledges and understands his failure to perform his duties on March 2 constitutes a breach of the public trust that is essential for the department to provide professional police services to the community. Ptl. Yonek not only betrayed the public trust that we strive to maintain every day, but he let down his fellow officers who were out there that day tirelessly serving the citizens and businesses in our community. This type of behavior will not be tolerated on this department.”
We’ve learned one factor in Yonek’s punishment was that he took responsibility for what happened. A report shows he told bosses he was “very tired”, he “messed up” and was “sorry.”