CLEVELAND - An arbitrator has ruled that three officers who lost their positions with the Cleveland Police Department related to the Nov. 29 2012 chase and shooting will regain their positions with the force, according to a City of Cleveland spokesperson.
Sgt. Michael Donegan is the only officer involved in the chase who was fired after the city's investigation into the incident.
Donegan will be reinstated effective July 11 as a Patrol Officer. He will receive back pay at the Patrol Officer rate from the time of his termination until his reinstatement. He will be re-promoted to the rank of Sergeant on July 11, 2015.
Lt. Paul Wilson and Capt. Ulrich Zouhar were demoted as a result of the city's investigation. The arbitrator's ruled to return both officers to their previous ranks on July 11. Neither officer will receive back pay.
The City of Cleveland sent us the following statement related to the arbitrator's ruling:
"We are not happy with the arbitrator’s decision. We believe the decision is wrong and we will appeal."
Donegan and Wilson still face criminal charges related to the incident. They are among five supervisors who were each indicted on two counts of dereliction of duty.
Patrol Officer Michael Brelo was indicted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
Brian Betley, FOP President told NewsChannel5 he’s expecting Donegan and Wilson to be placed on restrictive duty or a paid suspension since they were indicted and now face a trial. Zouhar will return to work.
July 11 is the date they will return to be on payroll whether they are on suspension or not.
Betley also said he thinks there's a good chance the city will lose their appeal because they went through arbitration.
All six officers were arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.
Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams led police on a 23-minute high speed chase that started in downtown Cleveland and ended with a shootout in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School on 14410 Terrace Road.
Both Russell and Williams were killed when 13 officers fired 137 bullets into Russell's car. No gun was found in the vehicle.
The victims' families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city alleging police used "gratuitous and excessive force."