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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Records just released to the FOX 8 I-Team show the FBI Public Corruption Task Force reviewed an internal investigation into a Cleveland police commander.
Third District Commander Michael Butler faces possible internal discipline from the city. But, the FBI Task Force review resulted in no criminal charges.
The investigation into Commander Butler centers around his ties to private security companies. The internal charges suggest he tried to cheat on taxes, and he had a conflict of interest in a former position with the police department.
Oddly, the investigation dates back to 2017. Yet, Butler just had a disciplinary hearing last month.
And, the newly-released records show the case was not submitted for criminal review until Jan. 4 of this year. The city prosecutor ruled “no papers issued”, or no charges, in March.
Although the case was reviewed by an FBI Task Force, and although Butler is a city employee, a city prosecutor reviewed the case and decided it did not warrant criminal charges.
In September, we called Commander Butler to ask what he had to say about the allegations, and he told us the following:
“Just that,” he said. “They are allegations. I’m looking forward to talking to the safety director and giving him the truth about these allegations. They are going to be, I believe, unfounded.”
As for why this is just coming to light now, the commander told us the city had been doing interviews and looking into this for quite some time.
City Hall confirmed the safety director did hold a hearing last month on the internal charges, but no ruling has been announced on any internal discipline. A pre-disciplinary letter shows Butler faces six internal charges or accusations.
Last year, a former Cleveland police officer plead guilty to federal tax charges tied to one of the security companies mentioned in this matter.
In September, for our initial story, the Cleveland Police Chief’s Office issued a statement, saying, in part:
“Commander Butler remains employed by the Cleveland Division of Police and is currently assigned as the Commander of the Third District.”