Rose suspended from W.T. Fire Department

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John Rose, shown here while he was still Oak Bluffs fire chief, joined the West Tisbury fire department in early 2022. — MV Times

Former Oak Bluffs Fire Chief John Rose has been suspended indefinitely from his current role with the West Tisbury Fire Department, following the issuing of a restraining order against him.

Rose was set to appear in Edgartown District Court last month for a criminal harassment prevention order hearing, but did not show up. The request for a harassment prevention order was left uncontested. 

No charges have been filed against the former fire chief, and the details of the harassment order have not been made public, other than that the court order is the result of harassment allegations, and the type of order filed differs from a typical restraining order and does not require the plaintiff to be related to the defendant. The case record information has been impounded by the court.

Rose, who resigned from the Oak Bluffs Fire Department in January 2018 — amid both sexual harassment claims and ambulance billing issues that prompted an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation — has been working as a volunteer with the West Tisbury Fire Department since February 2022. 

Due to the serious nature of the allegations, Rose has been “suspended indefinitely” from the West Tisbury Fire Department, Fire Chief Greg Pachico confirmed to The Times in early December. He did not provide further information, or details on the reported allegation.

Pachico, who has engaged with town counsel on the matter, said while the complaint is unresolved, “suspension is necessary,” and Rose will be prohibited from participating in all departmental work.

West Tisbury town administrator Jennifer Rand declined to comment, and referred The Times to Pachico.

Since no criminal charges have been filed, the case is considered a civil matter, a spokesperson for the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office told The Times. Unless there are violations of said harassment order, the DA’s office will not be involved in the legal proceedings.

A violation of the harassment prevention order, under Massachusetts general laws, is considered a criminal offense punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2.5 years, or both. 

Rose could not be reached for comment.

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