The Bibb administration is correct that Shane Bartek was not a Cleveland “law enforcement officer” when he was killed during a car robbery

CPPA official Jeffrey Follmer continues to engage in obstructive acts of insubordination with his interference of management's right to exercise workforce authority

CLEVELAND, OH – What did not take place on Mayor Justin Bibb’s first day in office is the Cleveland Police Patrolmens Association (CPPA) exerting any intimidating influence over his administration’s decision that Shane Bartek’s homicide was “not in the line of duty.”  Cleveland taxpayers bear no financial responsibility for Bartek’s loss of life during an armed robbery of his personal vehicle in Kamm’s Corner.  He wasn’t “clocked in” as a Cleveland municipal employee at the time of his death.  The ruling also changes the legal dynamics of the criminal prosecutions of the man and woman who engaged in the armed robbery.

Race and religious-baiting Democratic Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Michael O’Malley, who is seeking to be re-elected in 2022, is trying to rally the pro-law enforcement and anti-Protestant lynch mob with his crazed public statements that Anthony Butler, Jr. and McLloyd were engaged in a “war.”  Cleveland Police Patrolmens Association (CPPA) president and patrol officer Jeffrey Follmer makes him look like a malicious liar as the patrol officer has already confirmed to FOX8’s Peggy Gallek that Bartek was “reaching” for the weapon McLloyd held.  Follmer’s insubordinate public response is also ridiculous.

Cleveland police union outraged officials not ruling line of duty death in Shane Bartek’s murder

Using the best curve graded thinking he’s acquired as a patrol officer, and as an employee who has either not taken or passed civil services tests to advance up the ladder, Follmer has deduced that Bartek’s decision to reach for the weapon he saw McLloyd holding put him “on the clock” as a municipal worker.  That’s not the language in Article XI of the collective bargaining agreement beginning on page 12.  It’s not language in any state or federal law Follmer can cite; and the insubordinate employee should be made to identify the “statutory authority” granted to his union job that lets him share such outrageous thinking with the media.

The “municipal corporation” has spoken about Bartek’s “line of duty” status through its statutorily-authorized officers; and their will is insubordinately being obstructed by one of its lowest ranking employees.  Bibb has every Garcetti v. Ceballos Supreme Court of the United States of America right to silence Follmer through discipline and termination.

Any media portrayal of McLloyd as a cold-blooded cop killer is now false.  The “not in the line of duty” ruling diminishes every argument O’Malley may seek to misuse the prosecutor’s office in making that Butler or McLloyd knew anything about Bartek’s employment history.  Bartek was an unfortunate robbery victim whose bravery cost him his life on January 1st.  Butler was the sucker McLloyd gave Bartek’s car.  He was nowhere near the robbery.

What O’Malley’s choices of words do is underscore the collusive nature of the relationship between the prosecutor’s office and the CPPA that endorses him.  This is the real anarchist and law-twisting Irish and Catholic “mob” at work in an American county where the acts of usurping government officials don’t resemble our constitutions and laws.  He’s gearing up to try and maliciously twist an armed robbery into a death penalty cop killing case to appease his Protestant-hating base.

If it wasn’t for the fact that his co-workers steal overtime to go on a manhunt rampage only when one of them is killed, neither Butler nor McLloyd would have been captured within 48 hours had Bartek been any other city worker or inhabitant of Cleveland.  No other class of Americans or public workers but police in Cleveland have a 100 percent solve rate for their “on and off the clock” homicides. What the Bibb administration’s first day ruling signals is that the CPPA is not getting everything they want the way they want it.

Tamara McLloyd and Anthony Butler, Jr.  He was the sucker who McLloyd let use Shane Bartek’s stolen vehicle.

One of the cold realities of government is the requirement that a distinction be made between when an “officer” or “public employee” is operating “within the authority” of a “public office” or “public employment;” or “without the authority” of their oath sworn duties.  Every government interaction with Americans is either an act “authorized by law” or one that is “not authorized by law.”   The acts that are authorized by laws are “indemnified.”  Acts that are not authorized by laws are not indemnified.

In court an unauthorized governmental act is supposed to be voided ab initio or reset as if it never existed.  This removes the “emotion” Follmer’s trying to add to a discussion that’s guided by laws he can’t suspend with the insubordinately ignorant babble he’s promoting.

Ohio’s “indemnification” statute exists at Section 2744.07(A)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code under the heading, “Defending and indemnifying employees.”

(A)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) of this section, a political subdivision shall provide for the defense of an employee, in any state or federal court, in any civil action or proceeding which contains an allegation for damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by an act or omission of the employee in connection with a governmental or proprietary function. Amounts expended by a political subdivision in the defense of its employees shall be from funds appropriated for this purpose or from proceeds of insurance.  (2) A political subdivision does not have the duty to provide for the defense of an employee under division (A)(1) of this section if any of the following apply:  (a) The act or omission occurred while the employee was not acting in good faith.  (b) The act or omission occurred while the employee was acting manifestly outside the scope of the employee’s employment or official responsibilities.  (c) The civil action or proceeding is commenced by or on behalf of a political subdivision.

Nowhere is the duty for police to obey all laws in order to be indemnified more glaringly mandated than in the description of the duties of “municipal” law enforcement officers pursuant to Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code.

“The police force of a municipal corporation shall preserve the peace, protect persons and property, and obey and enforce all ordinances of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, all criminal laws of the state and the United States, all court orders issued and consent agreements approved pursuant to sections 2919.26 and 3113.31 of the Revised Code, all protection orders issued pursuant to section 2903.213 or 2903.214 of the Revised Code, and protection orders issued by courts of another state, as defined in section 2919.27 of the Revised Code.” 

You’ve just read how police officers must obey all ordinances and all state and federal criminal laws before they enforce them; and that’s during every conversation, stop, arrest and the acts that follow.  It matters that they’re even obeying the laws that authorizes them to use “public safety vehicle” down to the use of the lights, mobile display units, NCIC criminal records history databases and speed limits.  The questions they ask beyond the reason for a stop … matters. So does whether or not their Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy credentials have been acquired in the manner spelled out by laws; or if they’re operating under a “cease” order from the Ohio Attorney General.  Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code does not authorize law enforcements to ever disobey any criminal laws.

There was a “warrantless pursuit” of Butler into the municipal corporation of Euclid; which resulted in a crash and damage to that city’s property.  There are questions about how and when the pursuit was initiated that must be answered irrespective of the “catch a killer” mindset of the pursuing Cleveland cops.  There’s also the question of whether or not the city councils of Cleveland and Euclid have a “warrantless pursuit” agreement as required by Section 2935.03 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Cleveland patrol officer Jeffrey Follmer is engaging in insubordination with his attempt to pressure the city’s new administration into an “in the line of duty” ruling for Shane Bartek.

Police are not taught Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code in academies across the state; and 99.9 percent do not ask themselves if they’re obeying all ordinances, state, federal laws and agreements between municipal corporations before they exercise an enforcement act.  Any police officer who says their only duty is to “protect and serve” is stupidly repeating a slogan and not a law.  Was Bartek on the clock and operating under the authority of Section 737.11 of the Ohio Revised Code; or was he protecting and serving himself that night?  It is not my intent to be dismissive of this man’s death.  Every homicide victim’s death is a stain on Cleveland’s municipal soul.

What’s at stake is the amount of money and support Bartek’s family receives from the municipal corporation of Cleveland as a robbery victim and one of its employees.  It’s why the “line of duty” question was answered although the circumstances surrounding his death made answering it unnecessary.

As a robbery victim the state has a “Victims of Crime Compensation Fund.”  As a municipal employee there’s the issue of Bartek’s wages, accumulated time and pension fund eligibility.  As a violent crime victim he gets treated like every other violent crime victim in Ohio.

What Follmer appears to be making noise over are “death benefits” for Bartek’s family.  If he wanted the right to discuss the topic then the CPPA should have asked that “death benefits” language – that does not conflict with existing state general laws – be included in the collective bargaining agreement.  The current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t cover death benefits; and Follmer is running his mouth far outside the authority of a fucking patrol officer.  Even if an ask is made there can be no negotiations beyond the current law.  The city does not have the duty to entertain oir grant every ask that comes from the union.

Bartek’s official relationship with Cleveland as an employee with a pension fund at the time of his death triggers Section 742.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.  The Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund money he’s accumulated has to go somewhere.  The heading of the unsuspended state general law is “Creation and purpose of fund”.

“There is hereby created an Ohio police and fire pension fund for the purpose of providing disability benefits and pensions to members of the fund and their surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents.”

The state general law instructs Bibb and other mayors across Ohio that the pension funds go to the survivors of “eligible” law enforcement officers “killed in the line of duty.”  The term “killed in the line of duty” is defined.

“(A)(12) “Killed in the line of duty” means either of the following:  (a) Death in the line of duty;  (b) Death from injury sustained in the line of duty, including heart attack or other fatal injury or illness caused while in the line of duty.”

Published reports identify an approximate starting month for Bartek of August 2019.   Neither Bartek and now his family is eligible for a pension with two years and four months on the job as a municipal worker.  It means for his family that they’re entitled to his unpaid municipal earnings and the amount he’s contributed to the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund over the past two years and four months.

Republicans should mount an aggressive campaign to take the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s office away from the anarchist Democrats who have been controlling it since the 1940’s. Democrats have been engaged in selective criminal prosecutions and looking up the innocent for well over 70 years. Michael O’Malley knows cops in Cuyahoga County are impersonating law enforcement officers without valid OPOTA credentials; and he’s done nothing to hold them accountable.

Cleveland offers its employees $25,000 in group life insurance at no cost.  Bartek may have purchased additional coverage up to $300,000.  Those are matters for his wife to review with Bibb administration officials that have nothing to do with the CPPA.  Bartek’s family could be well-taken care of during their adjustment to his death if he provided for them beyond Cleveland’s free and generous $25,000 life insurance policy.

As the president of the collective bargaining unit organized under federal and state laws, Follmer knows or has a duty to know R.C. 742’s “killed in the line of duty” instructions are applicable to the Bartek ruling from “management.”  He should also know there’s no contract violation in the ruling that involves him in his capacity as the union’s president.

Follmer is insubordinately operating far outside his statutory authority and pay grade as a patrol officer.  Bibb should read into Follmer’s law twisting style that this may be the way he exercises the duties of a patrol officer assigned to the detective bureau while on the streets.  It would be cheaper for the CPPA to pay for Bartek’s burial costs instead of paying CPPA attorney Pat D’Angelo to sue the Bibb administration to pay it.

The “not killed in the line of duty” ruling from the Bibb administration is the exercise of a “management right.”  It has nothing to do with Cleveland’s collective bargaining agreement and the CPPA; and Follmer’s public threats of legal action constitutes an unfair labor practice.  No union president has the statutory or contract authority to interfere with or comment on the Bibb administration’s “no line of duty” ruling as it is consistent with the state’s unsuspended general laws and the rights of the elected office he holds.

The “administration” is responsible for determining whether a police or firefighter’s death was within the line of duty. There should be complete silence coming from city council about the mayor’s decision to exercise administrative authority over the employees under the mayor’s supervision. Council approved a collective bargaining agreement that did not include “death benefits” for cops because the matter has already been resolved by state law’s Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration has a duty to enforce. It’s Council President Blaine Griffin’s duty to ensure that his branch of government remains on its side of the aisle.

Follmer is paid his patrol officer’s wages to administer the CPPA’s side of its collective bargaining agreement with the municipal corporation based on a completely unlawful April 1, 1995 letter Michael Reed White signed as mayor.  Gallek of FOX8 and Lydia Esparra of WKYC-TV3 have each reported comments attributed to Follmer that demonstrate his misuse of the union office to intimidate Cleveland’s new mayor into possibly violating Section 742.37(D)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code.  The unsuspended state general laws identifies the “Rules for disbursing benefits and pensions.”

“A surviving spouse of a deceased member of the fund shall receive a monthly pension of four hundred ten dollars if the surviving spouse is eligible for a benefit under division (B) or (D) of section 742.63 of the Revised Code.”

There is no such definition under Ohio law for an “off duty police officer.”

Section 742.63(B) and (D) of the Ohio Revised Code is where the General Assembly has enacted the “Adoption of rules for management of fund and disbursement of benefits” as a guidance on how “death benefits” are to be distributed to the surviving spouse and children of police and firefighters.  It underscores why the topic is not a subject for discussion with the CPPA.

“(B) A spouse of a deceased member shall receive a death benefit each month equal to the full death benefit amount, provided that the deceased member was a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty and there are no surviving children eligible for a benefit under this section. The spouse shall receive this benefit during the spouse’s natural life until the deceased member’s maximum pension eligibility date, on which date the benefit provided under this division shall terminate.

(D) If a member killed in the line of duty as a firefighter or police officer is survived by both a spouse and a child or children, the monthly benefit provided shall be as follows:  (1)(a) If there is a surviving spouse and one surviving child, the spouse shall receive an amount each month equal to one-half of the full death benefit amount and the child shall receive an amount equal to one-half of the full death benefit amount.  (b) If the surviving spouse dies or the child becomes ineligible as provided in division (H) of this section, the surviving spouse or child remaining eligible shall receive the full death benefit amount.  (2)(a) If there is a surviving spouse and more than one child, the spouse shall receive an amount each month equal to one-third of the full death benefit amount and the children shall receive an amount, equally divided among them, equal to two-thirds of the full death benefit amount.  (b) If a spouse and more than one child each are receiving a death benefit under division (D)(2)(a) of this section and the spouse dies, the children shall receive an amount each month, equally divided among them, equal to the full death benefit amount.”

Published comments attributed to Council President Blaine Griffin show he should refrain from playing politics with the police over this issue.  His administration’s ruling – should he one day become the city’s mayor – would have to be the same.

If Griffin and the council believe the burial costs of homicide victims should be covered by the municipal corporation then they should repeal Councilwoman Jasmin Santana’s “tampon ordinance.” That money, the money going to Joe Cimperman and “Global Cleveland,” and the rest of the bullshit they’re funding for developers, should be used to bury all homicide victims and Americans killed by the police.  Would Bartek have survived had a physician been assigned to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) squad?  Would a nearby city-run emergency room with a gunshot wound trauma center have saved his life?

Bartek was not working for the municipal corporation in an official capacity as a Cleveland peace officer when he was killed during a fight with Butler and McLloyd over his car on January 1, 2022.  He was not an “off duty police officer” as there is no such statutory definition in the Ohio Revised Code.

The term is one that was created by the unions; and it’s been blindly repeated by journalists who don’t know any better.  They’ve repeated it so much until it’s been perceived to be official when it’s not.  Law enforcement officers are not on duty 24 hours a day.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.