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Fullerton officers' pay to be suspended

Manuel Ramos

September 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two policemen charged in the death of a mentally ill homeless man in Fullerton will be placed on unpaid administrative leave, according to Fullerton Police.

Fullerton Police Acting Chief Kevin Hamilton released a statement Thursday announcing Officer Manuel Ramos and Corporal Jay Cicinelli will be placed on unpaid administrative leave effective Oct. 8.

Six officers involved in a confrontation with a homeless man that resulted in his death on July 5 had been on paid administrative leave while an investigation of the incident was ongoing.

"The intent to change their pay status was made after consulting with our City Attorneys regarding law that is relevant to this area. No further details can be provided as this is a personnel matter.

"Officer Ramos and Corporal Cicinelli will be afforded an opportunity to respond to this proposed action and will have until the end of business on Friday, October 7, 2011 to do so," Hamilton said in the statement.

Ramos, 37, posted $1 million bail to be released from jail in Santa Ana about 12:20 a.m. Thursday. His attorney had unsuccessfully attempted to lower bail amount.

Ramos has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Kelly Thomas.

Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, said Ramos is entitled to due process.

"For Ramos to get bail, I'm not going to like it at all, but that's the process," he said. "If they make the bail that the judge has set, there's nothing I can do about it, certainly."

Ramos is due in court on Nov. 4. If convicted, Ramos faces 15 years to life in state prison.

Cicinelli, 39, was charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of using excessive force. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Cicinelli faces four years in state prison.

Cicinelli posted $25,000 bail and was scheduled to return to court in November.

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