Cape officer denies knowledge of wife’s use of illegal drugs
A Cape Coral police officer, recently fired following an internal investigation of a drug incident at his Key West home, denied knowledge of his wife’s alleged drug use, according to police documents.
Curt Suskevich was arrested with wife Christine Suskevich in August. Christine allegedly fired a handgun in their Key West vacation home and police found marijuana in the home, which Suskevich and his wife have said belonged to Christine.
During internal interviews with the Cape Coral Police Department, Suskevich and his wife denied his knowledge of her drug use or that marijuana was in the home.
” … if I knew (Christine) had a problem, I would see to it that she got help with the problem. I didn’t know she has a problem,” Suskevich told Paul Noeske of the Fraternal Order of Police during a Sept. 26 interview. “As I explained before, I knew she’d done it in the past. As far as I knew, she was not doing it, had not done it in a while.”
According to the interview transcript, Suskevich said he was not aware of Christine’s marijuana use during his nine years as a Cape Coral officer.
Additionally, he said his statements to Key West police about his knowledge of the drugs were misunderstood. He knew of the drugs only after police indicated they found them, he said.
“I didn’t know (marijuana) was there prior to that,” Suskevich said.
Suskevich was charged with constructive possession of the marijuana, which was later dropped.
Christine was charged with possession of marijuana, using a firearm under the influence of alcohol and possession of narcotic equipment. She was found guilty of all three counts in a no-jury trial in Monroe County.
Suskevich was terminated last week for “conduct unbecoming of an officer” due to statements he allegedly made to Key West officers that he had knowledge of Christine’s marijuana use.
Christine said she hid her use of marijuana from Suskevich.
” … Curt was not aware of it and I would wait until he would go to sleep,” Christine told investigators.
Suskevich reportedly said Christine was upset and fired a round from his handgun into a wall to get his attention, at which point he disabled the gun and called 911.
Investigators with the Cape Coral Police Department asked Key West officers why Suskevich would call 911 with knowledge of the marijuana, but not attempt to get rid of the drugs first. The arresting officers said they did not know, other than that he was intoxicated and may not have been thinking clearly.
Key West officers additionally said there was no way Suskevich did not have knowledge of the marijuana being in the home.
In a letter of termination addressed to Suskevich, Police Chief Rob Petrovich said the evidence showed Suskevich may not have known marijuana was in his home, but knew of his wife’s drug use and took no action to correct it.
“In this case, your decision to ignore the ongoing criminal behavior of your spouse by not taking any action is most disturbing, and is not the type of conduct that is becoming of a police officer who is sworn to uphold the law,” Petrovich wrote. “My decision to terminate your employment is based upon this particular allegation and the fact that such conduct by you is detrimental to the interests of the City.”
Suskevich will appeal the decision, according to detective Kurtis Grau, president of the Lodge 33 Fraternal Order of Police.
City spokesperson Connie Barron said that, to her knowledge, Suskevich had not yet filed for appeal Thursday but still had time to do so.