Cleveland Police Dispatcher Fired, Accused Of Calling County Jail Inmates While On-Duty, ‘Gross Neglect Of Duty’

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland police dispatcher was fired Friday after investigators learned he spoke with Cuyahoga County Jail inmates while one the clock and repeatedly disrespected his boss.

Cleveland Safety director Karrie Howard fired Charles McGeever after a police internal affairs investigation, city officials said in a statement issues late Friday. McGeever was hired in 1998.

It’s the second time McGeever has been fired from the city; an arbitrator rescinded his 2013 firing for misrepresenting a 911 call as an “active shooter” situation, using his phone during work and disrespecting supervisors.

A letter notifying him of his firing on Friday provided limited information on the incidents the city investigated.

Among the accusations contained in the letter:

  • McGeever, while on duty, used his personal phone to talk to inmates in the Cuyahoga County Jail six times between November 2018 and January 2020.
  • During “an extended period of time,” McGeever was in touch with “convicted felons and drug addicts, all of which potentially and repeatedly comprised safety and security of officers and the public…,” the letter said. Howard, however, did not find McGeever guilty of that particular accusation, and the letter does not explain the accusation any further.
  • On Jan. 23, 2019, McGeever yelled at and cursed at his supervisor, Lt. Edward Lentz
  • The letter said McGeever referred to co-workers as “ghetto b—–s.”
  • He turned in an erroneous statement to investigators and told Lentz that he planned on being “illusive and misdirecting” when talking to internal investigators.
  • McGeever took 364 hours of improper sick time in 2019, and on one day did not show up to work and did not call off.
  • When made aware of the internal investigation, McGeever accused Chief Dispatcher Almarita Hailes of covering for others accused of wrongdoing and asked her to do the same for him.

McGeever’s 2013 firing stemmed from a March 6, 2013 incident in which a Board of Education employee called 911 and reported they locked down Jane Addams Business Careers Centers because they believed a student was on the way to the school with a gun, which later proved to be false.

McGeever then called the city’s cellular provider and asked the company to locate the student’s cellphone. The city said he referred to the situation as an “active shooter” situation despite there being no evidence to confirm that.

He was also accused of leaving work without authorization and used “vile, disrespectful and insolent,” toward his supervisor.

An arbitrator, however, ruled that the punishment was too harsh, ordered him re-instated without backpay and to serve a 21-day suspension.

From www.cleveland.com