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Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 4:30 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 @ 6:38 AM
MAD RIVER TWP., Clark County — Twelve Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS employees have resigned from the department since Monday.
Ten of them resigned at a Mad River Twp. trustees meeting Monday night, according to the fire chief.
In all, 28 people have left the department since last year.
Michael Gardone had been employed by Mad River Twp. for five-and-a-half years before he recently resigned.
The tipping point that led to the resignations was the way fire leadership handled the hiring and firing of former firefighter Steve Schaefer and investigation into the department that followed.
At Monday night's board meeting, he said the investigator who was hired to look into the department did not recommend firing for fire leadership for knowing that Schaefer had allegations against him for sexually assaulting two firefighters at another department before he was hired at mad river.
“We told the trustees ahead of time that there was a possibility of a mass exit if they didn't handle the problem,” Gardone said. “It kills me because I want to do it. I want to serve the community. I love what I do, but I don't love doing it there.”
A group of employees sent a resignation letter to the township leadership that read in part: “We sat by and waited for you to conduct your investigation. Now that it is complete and you have failed to remove those responsible for these heinous actions, we are left with no other option.”
Mad River Twp. Trustee Bob McClure said in a statement that the resignations are unfortunate.