MADISON TOWNSHIP — Madison Township trustees voted to discipline a firefighter over what the group is calling “Testgate.”
Trustees would not disclose the name of the firefighter who was disciplined on Tuesday night. Nor would they discuss what disciplinary action would be taken or when.
“The board has no further comment,” Trustee Chairman David Spain said.
Spain abstained from the vote after an hour-long executive session at a special meeting called Tuesday night. He would not share why he abstained.
“I support the motion and the idea, but it’s better I abstain,” he said after the meeting.
Three firefighters who attended the special meeting looked confused as the trustees walked abruptly out of the meeting after announcing the decision.
Trustees started an investigation of what they termed cheating on a certification test by township firefighters nearly a year ago.
Last July, Spain said up to 10 firefighters were connected to what he described as “cheating and assisting in cheating” on certification examinations administered in late 2010. Five were disciplined after an internal investigation.
Trustees and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are continuing an investigation.
It was the latest controversy involving township trustees and the fire department.
Last week, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Wolfgang confirmed the department has filed a complaint with the Ohio Ethics Commission alleging Spain had a conflict of interest in bargaining with his son Kevin, a member of the union, in 2011.
Spain denied he has done anything wrong.
Jennifer Hardin, chief advisory attorney for the Ohio Ethics Commission, said the “ethics law prohibits a public official from using his or her position to secure any contract-related benefits or other things of value for a family member who is employed by the public agency.”
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