Franklin Co. deputy fired after possible misconduct with female high school student
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office announced the dismissal of an 11-year veteran from its department after an investigation into an alleged incident at Westland High School.
Chris Cuccio, the deputy assigned to interact with and mentor students on campus as its resource officer, was fired on Friday after a thorough investigation, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
"Officials for the South-Western City schools contacted the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and notified us of a situation of possible misconduct between the school student resources officer Deputy Chris Cuccio and a female student," said Marc Gofstein, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.
ABC 6/FOX 28 first reported the incident earlier this month when Cuccio was removed from duty at the school. Gofstein said investigators interviewed multiple people, but not a key person: Cuccio himself.
The sheriff's office said he refused to share his account of what happened, saying they called, sent letters and went to his home. The former deputy reportedly was AWOL from the moment he went on unpaid status.
"While we will not disclose any specifics at this time, I will say that information discovered during this investigation led us to the final decision," said Gofstein.
South-Western City Schools released this statement about the matter:
We contract with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office for school resource officer services.
Today we were notified by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office that Westland High School's former school resource officer has been relieved of his duties with the FCSO.
As soon as concerns were brought to our attention, we reported them to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. They immediately removed the deputy from Westland High School and initiated an investigation. We do not have any details of the investigation but understand that it has been concluded and the deputy has been relieved of his duties with the Sheriff's Office.
We currently have an interim school resource officer at WHS, who will remain at the school until the end of the school year.
We have a strong partnership with the FCSO and fully cooperated with them during this investigation. We take this issue very seriously and encourage our students to report any concerns they have have to us or another adult.
Some community members agreed with the decision to fire Cuccio.
"These are children," said. Glen Holley, who lives near the high school. "[Resource officers] are supposed to be protecting our children."
When ABC 6/FOX 28 went to former Deputy Cuccio's home, an occupant said he wasn't home and no one was available to comment about the situation at this time.
A temporary officer from the sheriff's office has been reassigned to the high school.
The Sheriff's Office said they consulted with the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office and found no arrestable offenses. No criminal charges are expected.