CLEVELAND, OH – The FOX 8 I-Team found the new integrity control, or internal affairs unit, has done dozens of investigations since it was created in the Cleveland Fire Department.
The city started the unit after a widespread pay scandal in the fire department. So the I-Team made a special request to uncover what the unit has found.
We saw 42 cases have been investigated. They include a few firefighters charged with felony crimes, several accused of working too many hours at a side job, and dozens of firefighters with questions about their certifications and more.
We also found one firefighter suspended and ordered to pay back to the city more than $2,500. Investigators said he used a city cell phone to call women and make dates.
However, we also found 24 of the cases resulted in no criminal charges or internal discipline. Witnesses backed out or investigators did not find enough evidence.
Cleveland Firefighters Union President Frank Szabo admits some people will always break the rules, especially with a force of more than 700. But the union also criticizes what it considers sometimes vague work rules.
Assistant Safety Director Ed Eckart agrees he expected to find “…a slice of what you see in society.” Yet he also expects to see fewer cases as the process goes on with the internal affairs unit.
Some investigations are still ongoing.