I-Team obtains personnel file for Shaker Heights officer under investigation for reportedly making obscene gesture at protesters

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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained the 235-page personnel file for a Shaker Heights officer under investigation for making an obscene gesture toward protestors.

His most recent job review shows concern about him voicing “his opinions openly.”

Cpl. Michael Spuzzillo was placed on leave with pay last month while under investigation for making an obscene gesture toward protestors while working security outside the presidential debate hosted by the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

(The reported gesture can be seen in the image, below, on the far left side of the photo; it was captured during a FOX 8 news livestream.)

Shaker Heights police officials released the officer’s personnel file to the I-Team after a records request.

The I-Team noticed four categories marked “unsatisfactory” for his 2019 job review.

Those categories were Initiative, Ownership, Quality of Work, and Team/Peer Comparison.

A supervisor wrote, “Mike at times becomes frustrated and voices his opinions openly.” He added, the corporal has been “bold” about being frustrated over not being named a detective in the police department.

The review also raises questions about the corporal’s lack of productivity in traffic enforcement.

A summary of the evaluation shows, he has the “requisite knowledge to do the job yet he lacks initiative”…”and has become a vocal detractor of the department. Furthermore, he has spoken about being ‘burned out.’”

The summary also shows a plan for “intensive assessment on a regular basis.”

The personnel file also includes letters of commendation including one from a citizen complimenting this officer’s handling of a call about a suspected scam.

As for previous discipline, Spuzzillo was also suspended one day in 2004 for his “performance in handling of several calls.”

In his job application for the Shaker Hts. Police, Spuzzillo wrote, “I feel good when I assisted anyone in anyway and hopefully with this assistance I rendered the public has a positive perception of the police.”

Shaker Heights police officials have not indicated any decision or outcome of the current internal investigation.

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