CLEVELAND – An appeals court has ruled that a male Cleveland police officer fired for sending thousands of sexually explicit texts to female crime victims should get his job back.
Detective Vincent Lucarelli was fired in January 2013 after an internal affairs investigation found that Lucarelli had committed numerous departmental violations that included the text messages and having contact with women at their homes while on duty and inside his police car.
In a 2-1 vote Thursday, the 8th District Court of Appeals upheld a county court judge’s ruling that an arbitrator correctly decided that Lucarelli should be disciplined but not fired.
Judge Tim McCormick wrote in a dissent that the arbitrator was wrong in overturning Lucarelli’s firing because the officer betrayed the public’s trust.
A Cleveland spokesman declined to comment.