Three former Fullerton Police Department officers involved in the deadly struggle with transient Kelly Thomas may no longer be facing charges, but are not welcome to their old jobs, Chief Dan Hughes told City Council members Tuesday night.
Hughes also acknowledged that he met with FBI investigators after former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli and former Officer Manuel Ramos were acquitted of charges in Thomas' death.
Prosecutors on Friday dismissed an indictment against former Officer Joe Wolfe.
Until recently, Fullerton officials would only say the three officers no longer worked for the city. However, during a hearing without the jury present in Ramos and Cicinelli's trial, attorney Greg Palmer acknowledged they were fired as he objected to prosecutors' effort to get their employment records introduced into evidence.
A day after Cicinelli was acquitted, his attorney, Zachery Lopes, said the former corporal would begin the process of attempting to regain the post he lost in July 2012 through an administrative hearing.
The hearing, which can be public if Cicinelli wishes, would lead to a recommendation to city officials, Lopes said. If city officials refuse to take Cicinelli back onto the force, he can seek a "writ of mandate" in Orange County Superior Court, Lopes said.
If a Superior Court judge rules against Cicinelli, then he could try to appeal to higher courts, but that is rare and difficult to do, Lopes said.
It's not clear if Ramos or Wolfe would try to get their posts back.
The 37-year-old Thomas skirmished with six officers July 5, 2011, and was taken off life support and died five days later.
Thomas' father, Ron, is suing the city.
- City News Service