Cleveland Fire PIO accused of advising cadets to handle problems with violence

Firefighter Larry Gray, courtesy LinkedIn
Firefighter Larry Gray, courtesy LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - According to internal documents obtained by Cleveland 19, the Cleveland Division of Fire's public information officer, Larry Gray, is accused of making inappropriate comments to a class of fire cadets just days before they graduated.

The documents say Gray was scheduled to speak with the class about social media on May 2 at the Fire Training Academy. It goes on to say Gray wouldn't allow academy staff to be in the class with him and the cadets.

Gray is accused of telling the cadets he often carries a weapon and had pressed it against many individuals in the past. The document accuses Gray of basically advising cadets to handle any problems they felt they had with violence.

Gray is accused of telling cadets -- in a more than hour-long talk -- that he wouldn't hesitate to "beat the s*** out of a guy," and that the cadets shouldn't "take any s*** out there from anyone," according to the documents.

Cadets allegedly were concerned by the comments and brought the incident up to fire training academy staff.

Cleveland 19 tracked Gray down Monday night at a fire scene. He told Cleveland 19 that he needed to know what the subject of the interview would be, saying: "It's an election year." He then said that he hadn't received a copy of the complaint, and would have to talk with Chief Angelo Calvillo to see if he was allowed to speak about the allegations.

Gray said that the chief had told him to not give any interviews or provide any information about the allegations.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the city of Cleveland about the allegations, and spokesman Dan Williams responded with an email saying that they do not comment regarding ongoing investigations.

The firefighters union represents Gray but would offer no comment on the story.

Cleveland 19 has filed a public records request for Gray's personnel file and will update the story with any new developments.

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