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Cleveland police officer terminated for drinking, fleeing scene of crash with RTA bus

Cleveland police
Posted at 8:57 PM, Sep 24, 2021

CLEVELAND — A Cleveland police officer was terminated following a crash with an RTA bus in December 2020, according to the City of Cleveland.

Patrol Officer Mason Swires was accused of consuming "10-12 alcoholic beverages" on Dec. 19, 2020 before being involved in an off-duty crash with an RTA bus.

According to the termination letter filed by the City of Cleveland, Swires fled the scene of the crash without exchanging information or checking on the well being of the bus driver or the passengers on the bus.

The letter says that Swires did not request a supervisor to respond to the scene and failed to immediately report the incident to a supervisor.

When he did eventually report the crash, he omitted that he had consumed numerous alcoholic beverages and that he left the scene of a crash. He later failed to complete the necessary forms following the crash and when he did file the forms, once again omitted misconduct on the report, the termination letter claims.

On March 2, 2020, Swires, who was charged in Cleveland Municipal Court with failure to stop after an accident, failure to exchange information and assured clear distance, pleaded guilty to the assured clear distance charge.

Swires attended an administrative pre-disciplinary hearing on July 23 after an internal investigation where he was read the findings detailed in the termination letter. He pleaded no contest to the charges involving the drinking and subsequent crash, as well as failing to call a supervisor to the scene, and pleaded not guilty to omitting misconduct in his verbal report and on his required forms.

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, following the disciplinary hearing, the Department of Public Safety found him guilty of the accusations, terminating him from employment effective immediately.

"Your actions showed a careless disregard for the citizens of Cleveland, the bus driver, the passengers on the bus and had the potential to cause serious physical injury," the termination letter reads. "You have exhibited a complete disregard for ethical behavior relating to truthfulness, i.e. submitting an untruthful written report to your supervisor after submitting an untruthful oral report to your supervisor. The citizens of Cleveland deserve better."

You can read the full termination letter here.

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