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Cleveland Community Police Commission to Bibb: Fire Wang

Cleveland Community Police Commission to Bibb: Fire Wang

The co-chairs of the Cleveland Community Police Commission have asked Mayor Justin Bibb to fire Commissioner Teri Wang, claiming in a letter that her “uncooperative, hostile and accusatory actions have created an unsafe work environment and we are concerned for the accountability of the city, our staff and the community.”

Community Police Commission (CPC) co-chairs John Adams and Sharena Zayed sent a letter to the mayor on Wednesday listing 11 alleged examples of “misconduct, abuse of power, dereliction of duty and gross negligence.”

Wang did not respond to Signal Cleveland’s request for comment before publication.

The commission co-chairs accuse Wang of grabbing another commissioner’s arm, disrupting meetings, intimidating commissioners, staff and members of the public and harassing staff. The charges also include “harassing public officials” and “engaging in inappropriate public conduct.”

The commission has been discussing removing Wang since January. They removed him from his post as chairman of the Rules Committee in February and removed him from all committees he was a member of in May.

The letter states that the latest incident occurred on Tuesday. Wang attended a meeting of the Police Accountability Committee and asked where he could sit. The committee co-chair said Wang could sit in the seats reserved for the public, but Wang refused and sat at the same table as the other commissioners.

“When told that if he remained at the table, the meeting could not take place, he declined,” the letter said. “Commissioner Wang indicated that he intended to use the meeting to explain to the public why the proposal to remove him from all CPC committee work was inappropriate and acknowledged that his intention was to disrupt a lawful meeting,” a violation of the city charter.

The police were called. The letter said Wang would not leave voluntarily and should be removed. Instead, the committee members cancelled the meeting.

The letter to Bibb alleges that Wang’s behavior has escalated and is obstructing the commission’s work.

“Since we lack the power to remove him on our own, we ask for your help to restore balance to our organization and give us the ability to do the work of police accountability that the city has entrusted to us,” the co-chairs wrote in the letter.

Signal Cleveland reached out to Mayor Bibb’s office. A spokesperson confirmed that they “received the letter a few hours ago and are reviewing it.”

Wang accused of intimidation and harassment

The six-page letter also alleges Wang grabbed Commissioner Zayed’s arm “while trying to leave an increasingly tense discussion” following a committee meeting and referred to another commissioner as an “opportunistic bitch” on another occasion.

Instances of Wang’s intimidation of commission members, staff and members of the public include his refusal to leave the room during an Internal Disciplinary Committee executive session where members were discussing possible discipline of a public official. Wang was not a member of the committee.

The letter also states that Wang “attempted to intimidate staff and other commission members through cellphone recordings, frequently invading their personal space by placing his device in their faces.”

The co-chairs accused Wang of harassing staff, saying the CCP office was closed during the week of March 21 due to “concerns for the mental health and physical safety of staff.”

The letter states that on March 20, she was “forced to lock herself in her office to avoid harassment” from Interim Executive Director Jason Goodrick, adding that Wang “launched a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and bullying against CPC attorney Martin Bielat, who splits his office hours between the CPC and the city law department.” Wang “accuses him of maliciously conspiring with the Co-Chairs and the Law Department.”

The letter names several city officials who Wang allegedly harassed via email, making it “extremely difficult for the Commission to build trust.”