Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office: Euclid officer who killed self accused of theft

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office has determined that the Euclid officer who took his life earlier this year was responsible for theft.

In April, Sgt. Kevin Blakeley was asked to meet with then-Euclid Police Chief James Repicky about why he was not cooperating with an investigation by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and the FBI. Authorities were checking into missing money from the police evidence room.

"At the outset of this meeting, Sergeant Blakeley suddenly and tragically ended his own life with a self-inflicted wound from his police weapon," Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik said in April. "No words were spoken, and no altercation took place. This action taken by Sergeant Blakeley occurred so quickly that the chief and the supervisors present had no chance to stop this tragic incident."

On Thursday, the sheriff's office said they found sufficient evidence to indict Blakeley, a 28-year veteran of the force, for theft. Documents show that Blakeley took up to $40,000 from evidence and authorities have not recovered the money. The case is closed, since he is deceased. Blakeley's widow cooperated with the investigation and said she not not know where the money is located.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office said they found sufficient evidence to indict Blakeley, a 28-year veteran of the force, for theft. Documents show that Blakeley took up to $40,000 from evidence and authorities have not recovered the money. The case is closed, since he is deceased. Blakeley's widow cooperated with the investigation and said she not not know where the money is located.

Months after Blakeley's death, Repicky resigned as police chief.

Just last month, the Euclid Police Department was under fire after the towing company they use to impound vehicles had sold those cars without authorization. Police Cpt. Thomas Brickman said his office investigated and said the Ohio State Highway Patrol advised that no criminal charges would be filed, even though state laws forbids vehicles to be scrapped without a certificate of title or proper affidavit authorizing the sale and scrap of vehicles.

A recently-released report cited poor morale, lack of leadership, and a reduction in crime prevention within the Euclid Police Department. It was prepared by consultants with the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, and revealed new information regarding hidden cameras allegedly placed inside the police department. A federal lawsuit filed in September alleges the cameras were attempting to record police officers discussing labor negotiations. The consultant's report detailed several officers were found to be untruthful during polygraph examinations when asked about the cameras.

Check back to newsnet5.com for more information as this story develops.

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