CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has discovered that a criminal investigation is now open to address the explosives allegations involving Cleveland Police.
We have confirmed that the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department will review cases where claims officers lied to internal investigators and the man overseeing internal affairs altered the reports.
The criminal investigation arose out of a lawsuit brought by Lieutenant Paul Baeppler.
He sued bosses and other officers, saying he had evidence of years of false internal investigations and retaliation against him.
In June, the I-Team revealed video clips filed in court in connection with the lawsuit.
In a deposition, Ronald Bakeman, Superintendent of Internal Affairs, admitted to changing the reports.
Lawyer Craig Bashein asked, “Who made you change your reports? Bakeman replied sharply: “Nobody!”
So Bashein continued with: “Did you do it yourself?” Bakeman replied, “I did it on my own.”
Then Bashein started to say, “So your testimony in court and the jury in this case is …”
And, at that point, Bakeman interrupted him with, “I fucked up.”
Bakeman added: “I haven’t changed the background, the specifications of the report.”
Meanwhile, filed emails show a police administrator wrote he would “destroy” a version of a report. He recommended changing a sentence about a high level supervisor who was “intentionally not truthful”.
Lieutenant Baeppler, a decorated officer. But his lawsuit claims bosses, at one point, assigned him to work alone in a room with orders not to have contact with other officers.
Baeppler later found himself assigned to the night shift at the vehicle impound.
Video depositions also show an Internal Affairs sergeant testifying to officers in a case making claims against Baeppler.
Sgt. Todd Clark said, “They came in and they lied. I’ll go to my grave with that. They lied. “
A spokesperson for Cuyahoga County confirmed that the sheriff’s department will be looking into the case for evidence of any crimes. But, the county offered no schedule.
For our June story, we left Ronald Bakeman a message and texted. But these messages were not resent.
48 hours after this report, the town hall announced that Bakeman had resigned.
The city has a policy of not commenting on pending lawsuits. The city conducted a civil case with an outside law firm.
The trial has dragged on for years. It is not known when the lawsuit could be tried. He has been linked to legal actions that have gone to the Ohio Supreme Court.
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