CANTON, Ohio - Five Canton firefighters who were suspended last month for alleged shift trading have been fired, a city leader said.
A representative for Safety Director Thomas Ream confirmed the terminations Tuesday.
Canton Fire Chief John Whitlatch told NewsChannel5 on May 29 that the suspensions started May 23 for each staff member. Each was given a different amount of time off – but the decision was since made to fire them.
Here are the five terminated firefighters:
- Rosario Carcione - 60 days
- William Hallas - 60 days
- Andrew Bolgiano - 60 days
- Timothy Given - 3 weeks
- Kevin Gordon - 2 weeks
According to Whitlatch, the shift trades happened between October 2011 and December 2011.
Documents released Tuesday from the city of Canton said the firefighters had both a grievance and suspension inquiry hearing June 5. Administrators said with the exception of Gordon, the firefighters broke these rules:
- Conduct unbecoming to an officer
- Conduct subversive or prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the diversion
Gordon was only accused of breaking the third item.
The documents revealed that four of the firefighters admitted to paying others to work their shift, knowing that some hours would not be made up by other employees. Gordon was accused of taking payment to work these shifts. Ream denied the grievances and ordered the immediate termination of the firefighters, effective June 11.
The announcement of the suspensions came a little more than two months after an audit of the Cleveland Division of Fire revealed widespread abuse of sick time and shift trades. That audit suggested as many as 200 firefighters may have worked the system for years.
It's not clear yet whether Canton's investigation was sparked by the publicity of Cleveland's audit.
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