The saga continues at the Oak Bluffs Fire Department

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To the Editor:

What would you do if you were a selectman in Oak Bluffs about the local fire department and its leadership?

Here is a rundown of some of the infractions that have occurred:

  1. Alleged sexual harassment by the chief, costing the town $97,500 paid by the town’s insurance, which will probably raise the premium, causing our taxes to increase.
  2. The supervisor allegedly had a relationship with a subordinate. Didn’t we have a president who got into trouble for this?
  3. FBI inquiry into the overbilling of Medicare and Medicaid by the EMT department, supervised by the fire chief.
  4. The fire chief allegedly places his locker in the female locker room. Are you kidding me?
  5. When first questioned, the chief lied to the selectmen.

The above infractions are surely enough to remove the chief, but that has not happened. Why did the selectmen give him their support after all of these infractions?

The present selectmen still stand by him, if you can believe it. They state that there was no wrongdoing by the town or the chief in dealing with the administrator. Then why pay the former administrator the $97,500, if there was no wrongdoing?

Two selectmen came to the defense of the chief, saying that what he did was not that serious. What do they consider serious?

Let me give you a hypothetical situation: If a school principal had a relationship with a teacher, and continued harassing the teacher, and the principal also mishandled student activity funds, what would you say? Would you defend him and let him continue in his position? I am sure you would not.

As residents of Oak Bluffs, we need to give this situation some very serious thought, and not allow it to continue.

Eric Hohenthal
Oak Bluffs

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. You need to re-read your own letter and focus on the language you use. “ALLEGED” Sexual harassment claim, look up the definition of the word ALLEGED. Here I will do it for you, “without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.“ As I stated in previous comments do just like minimal, minimal research on how sexual harassment suits work before you decide to write an editorial like this. They’re extremely complicated even if there was no wrongdoing found. I’m not sure what level of job experience you have in the ambulance world, or your expertise in ambulance billing…. I’m sure it’s extensive….. but billing is incredibly complicated and the town hired a company (comstar) and pays them TO HANDLE BILLING. Most ambulance companies do this because there is so much that goes into billing, while focusing on personal issues, firefighter, EMS, inspections, protecting the community etc etc the list goes on and on for the responsibilities of a fire Chief, most don’t have time to sit there an analyze billing that’s why they put someone in charge of QA and hire a billing company to make sure everything is being done properly. THIS CANNOT BE DIRECTED JUST AT THE CHIEF. So stop with your smear campaign, please. Especially when the FBI has not even clearly announced what they’re looking into or what they have found. You sit here with you numbered list of “accusations” and possible “mistakes” but where is the list of all the incredibly amazing things the a Chief has in his career? Nope that’s not the society we live in. We just want to stand on our pedestals and judge situations we have no clue about, and point out bad.

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