Fired Vallejo police lieutenant cleared of wrongdoing, reinstated

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Friday, December 2, 2022
Fired Vallejo police lieutenant cleared of wrongdoing, reinstated
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Vallejo Lt. Michael Nichelini has been reinstated after he was fired for sending a threatening email to a former reporter and sending an email to POA members with what appeared to be a swastika.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- A fired Vallejo Police Lieutenant has his job back.

An arbitrator overturned the firing of Lt. Michael Nichelini, who is Vallejo Police Officers' Association President.

Former Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams fired Nichelini for sending an email to POA members that contained an image of an old Vallejo Police badge with what appeared to be a swastika.

He also sent a threatening email to former San Francisco Chronicle East Bay Columnist Otis Taylor that in part said, "We will warn our Georgia colleagues of your impending arrival."

RELATED: Vallejo police union president fired for sending threatening email to journalist

The arbitrator ordered the City to reinstate Nichelini and make him whole for all loss of pay and benefits.

"His firing was so wrong, it was so unfair and unjust," said VPOA Attorney Mike Rains. "When we got done with the hearing I told him, I said, 'I can't even conceive of a scenario in which the arbitrator will not put you back to work.'"

In a statement on Twitter, Otis Taylor wrote, "I've moved forward. Unfortunately, the City of Vallejo won't be able to do the same as long as the police aren't held accountable. Reform can't happen without removing the obstacles to reform."

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