St. Joseph Public Safety Director suspended, one terminated

St. Joseph, Mich. One St. Joseph Public Safety Officer has been fired and another suspended on the heels of an internal conduct investigation.

St. Joseph's Director of Public Safety, Mark Clapp, has been suspended for one week without pay and the Deputy Director, Al DiBrito, has been terminated.

The disciplinary actions came down Tuesday after an internal investigation into a complaint of defamatory comments made by Clapp in regards to his second in command, DiBrito.

“The investigation concluded that Director Clapp made comments that were inappropriate for a commanding officer to make regarding a second charge,” said Richard Lewis, St. Joseph City Manager, in a press conference Tuesday morning.

The comments were deemed inappropriate, but not defamatory. Clapp has been disciplined with a one week unpaid suspension, beginning May 12.

But the investigation brought to light other complaints within the department – complaints about DiBrito’s own conduct.

“Multiple Public Safety Officers voiced serious concerns regarding the overall conduct of the Deputy Public Service Director Al DiBrito,” Lewis said in a statement. “A determination was made that the future effective operation of the Public Safety Department would be jeopardized if Mr. DiBrito remained as the Deputy Director of the Department.”

DiBrito’s employment was terminated effective immediately Tuesday morning. Lewis did not accept questions on the conduct specifically.

DiBrito’s attorneys addressed the “serious concerns” about DiBrito’s “overall conduct” with the following statement:

“DiBrito has always acted with the highest attention to the law and ethical law enforcement standards throughout his career. That career includes 10 years as a city police officer, 23 years as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and two years in his current position as Deputy Director of Public Safety. He has received numerous awards and commendations over those years, reflecting his successful performance. DiBrito is considering his personal, career and legal options at this point. DiBrito will make no further comment at this time."

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