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Officer to argue termination

By Staff | Jan 9, 2009

A Cape Coral police officer who was terminated after he and his wife were arrested on drug charges in Key West last year will appeal the department’s decision to fire him, according to officials.
Curt Suskevich, who has been with the Cape Coral Police Department for nine years, was arrested in his Key West vacation home after his wife, Christine, reportedly fired a handgun in the home and police discovered marijuana in her possession.
Both were charged by Key West police with possession of the drugs, and Christine was additionally charged with firing the gun under the influence of alcohol and possession of narcotic equipment. She was later found guilty in a no- jury trial on all three counts, according to Monroe County court records.
The drug charge was later dropped against Suskevich. The Cape Coral Police Department, though, terminated him following a lengthy internal investigation, due to “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
“Officer Suskevich is appealing his termination and the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council will be representing him,” said Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 President Kurtis Grau. “We stand behind our members and the FOP does not agree with this decision. Officer Suskevich is being held responsible for the actions of another and he did nothing wrong. I don’t want to make any further comments on the case until the matter is resolved in the near future.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Police Chief Rob Petrovich said the decision to terminate Suskevich’s employment was not based on the initial criminal charge placed against him, but rather his awareness of Christine’s alleged marijuana use and lack of affirmative action to correct the illegal activity.
Suskevich’s decision to appeal his termination is based on “Article 8 of Ordinance 50-94 or grieving his suspension through Article 11 of the Police Collective Bargaining Agreement,” according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
Suskevich was hired in March 1999 and made $59,945 annually.