CHEEKTOWAGA – The Cheektowaga Town Council took action Tuesday night in removing a Cheektowaga police officer from the job following an investigation he had engaged in a relationship with a female registered sex offender while on-duty.
An internal affairs investigation into Officer Dominic Schwartz’s actions was started last December after the sex offender’s probation officer reported the conduct to police brass.
Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that Mr. Schwartz was suspended last week and was terminated by the town board after an internal affairs investigation found the allegations to have merit. The department could not comment on the specifics of the investigation saying it was a personnel matter.
A Freedom of Information Request for Mr. Schwartz’s personnel file which was filed Wednesday by Cheektowaga Chronicle is pending at Town Hall.
A lawyer for the woman, Jessica Huber, tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that Mr. Schwartz advertised personal services for a “real man in uniform” on the website Craigslist.
“They started talking and while on-duty he would come to her house on several occasions including, engaging in at least one, in relations,” said Matthew Albert.
He says Mr. Schwartz never identified himself and took measures to conceal his name including taking his nameplate off of his uniform shirt.
“He is an officer, he’s in uniform, he’s got handcuffs so I mean to some extent she certainly was threatened to submit to his will,” added Mr. Albert.
It wasn’t until Mr. Schwartz was interviewed by local media outlets following the Dollar General shooting in November that he was identified by her.
Mr. Speyer says that during the investigation the FBI was brought in to see if the officer abused his authority. The FBI found that Mr. Schwartz’s actions did not break the law but he did break department rules.
“We take every allegation of our officer’s behavior seriously and if we get any complaints we follow up on those complaints and unfortunately, sometimes it leads to their dismissal,” said Mr. Speyer.
Mr. Speyer says he was not aware that the department had yet received any notice from the Cheektowaga Police Benevolent Association saying they were fighting the termination.
A call to the Cheektowaga Police Benevolent Association was not immediately returned.
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