In its lengthy investigation of Cleveland police that led to the May 2015 consent decree with the city, the Department of Justice didn't find much right in the department. But it delivered some of its harshest and most sustained criticism at the Office of Professional Standards (OPS), a civilian-led department charged, among other things, with investigating civilian complaints against cops.
The situation at OPS was "dire" upon the DOJ's arrival, and while the city has made progress in other areas, the work of the OPS, or lack there of given its staggering backlog of incomplete cases and investigations (225 from 2015 alone), was "unacceptable and irresponsible by any measure" when the DOJ released its first semiannual report in 2016.
Things haven't gotten better, despite the fact that Cleveland has provided additional resources to OPS. That hasn't gone unnoticed: The monitoring team sought the help of U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.,
the federal judge overseeing the consent decree, to call city officials into court to explain, basically, why the hell OPS can't get its shit together. Cleveland Public Safety Director Mike McGrath is scheduled to appear before Solomon on Nov. 21.
Which brings us to Damon Scott, the head of OPS since 2014, who was also supposed to appear at the hearing. He won't be attending, because he no longer has the job. Scott "separated" from the position in late October, which is some nifty vague legalese. Indeed, a city spokesperson told Cleveland.com's Eric Heisig, who broke the news last week
, that they would provide no additional details on the personnel move. Cleveland.com did secure a memo sent from McGrath to OPS staff announcing he'd personally handle administrative duties of the department along with the help of the assistant public safety director for the time being.
Scott, if you were wondering, was since hired as an investigator in the city's Department of Public Works, because how else do you reward a man so inept at running and closing investigations than by hiring him to do investigations.