Local News

Officers Fired Over Kelly Thomas Death Abandon Appeals to Get Jobs Back

Former FPD officers Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe, who were fired over their involvement in the beating death of Kelly Thomas in 2011, have both abandoned their appeal to get their jobs back.

Joseph Wolfe and Jay Cicinelli.

On March 8, former officer Joseph Wolfe filed with the Orange County Superior Court to abandon his appeal. On March 5, former officer Jay Cicinelli also abandoned his appeal.

Wolfe and Cicinelli were both terminated in 2012 for their role in the beating death. Both officers, after an administrative review process, appealed their terminations to the City Council and in 2017, Council upheld both terminations.

Following this, both former officers sued the City to overturn their firing leading to trials on September 8 and October 16, 2020.

On November 10, 2020, Judge David A. Hoffer ruled against the officers, upholding the City’s decision to fire them. Both former officers filed appeals, which have now been abandoned. This action ceases all pending legal proceedings on this issue.

“I am pleased that this ugly chapter in our history is finally behind the City and our residents,” Mayor Bruce Whitaker said. “The beating death of Kelly Thomas was tragic on its own with lasting and continued damage, but the costly and lengthy process to uphold the City’s termination of the involved officers took almost 9 years to resolve.”

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