(Cleveland) - Thirteen Cleveland firefighters indicted last week by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on felony theft in office charges were suspended Wednesday.
The suspensions are without pay, pending adjudication of the charges, in accordance with established city policy.
All 13 waived their rights to a pre-disciplinary hearing which was scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday and accepted the suspension.
When the indictments were handed down, all 13 firefighters were relieved of active duty until the pre-disciplinary hearing was scheduled.
Chief of Fire Daryl McGinnis will adjust his staffing to ensure that the quality and timeliness of service by the Division to the community is not impacted.
Each of the 13 firefighters also faces a misdemeanor charge of soliciting or receiving improper compensation.
The criminal charges stem from a series of internal audits regarding Division of Fire payroll activities initiated and conducted by the City of Cleveland.
The first focused on payroll and timekeeping policies and the second focused on internal shift trades. As a result of those audits, the City hired former federal prosecutor Ronald Bakeman to assist the Cleveland Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit in determining if there was any criminality involved in the shift trade practices of individual firefighters. The resulting report was given to the County Prosecutor’s Office for review in August 2012.
As a result of the City’s internal audits, numerous changes have been made within the Division of Fire, including the implementation of a revised shift trade policy in 2012, enhanced supervisory training and the use of technology to ensure more accurate payroll record keeping.
In addition, as part of the integration of the Divisions of Fire and EMS, timekeeping and payroll functions for the two divisions have been consolidated under the oversight of a civilian manager who reports directly to an Assistant Director of Public Safety.
The following individuals were included in the indictment:
Calvin Robinson, 52, of Cleveland
Kevin Dever, 42, of Cleveland
Bernard Fronhapple, 51, of Rocky River
Barry Kifus, 40, of Painesville
Kevin P. Kelly, 52, of Olmsted Falls
James Oleksiak, 44, of Cleveland
Robert Graham, 50, of Lakewood
Michael Milano, 53, of Broadview Heights
Nicholas Rucella, 49, of Cleveland
Gary McNamara, 48, of Bay Village
Peter Corso, 47, of Concord
Thomas Jurcisin, 51, of Cleveland
Daniel Losteiner, 45, of Cleveland
This remains an ongoing investigation.
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