Rossford fire chief forced to retire PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel Staff   
Friday, 14 February 2014 01:00
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ROSSFORD - Rossford Fire Chief Jim Verbosky will retire effective March 31 following accusations that he sexually harassed a female firefighter.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon III said that Verbosky, who has been chief for 15 years, sent a text message of a sexual nature to a female firefighter.
The incident came to his intention earlier this year. At that time he spoke with Verbosky.
MacKinnon noted that the chief was already on probation following an incident in March when he signed another firefighter's name to an emergency medical run report.
MacKinnon said because of that he told Verbosky on the night of Jan. 16  he would have to leave. "I told him I was going in a different direction," the mayor said Thursday.
No announcement, however, was made at the time.
Instead it was agree, Verbosky would stay on the job until March 14, and then he would use his remaining vacation time, and retire at the end of March.
MacKinnon said he was concerned because the firefighter who received the text did not want Verbosky to be fired and did not want to call attention to the incident."She didn;t want anything to happen to him."
But MacKinnon said he felt in light of the previous problem "this couldn't go on any longer."
However, on Wednesday night a fax was sent from the Fire Department's fax machine exposing the incident and making allegations about how the city was handling the issue.
The city Law Director Kevin Heban released this statement on Thursday afternoon: "The City of Rossford was alerted to allegations of improper conduct engaged in by the Chief of the Rossford Fire Department, James Verbosky.  The City engaged in an investigation into the allegations and determined that Chief Verbosky had engaged in conduct demonstrating poor judgment, but which did not pose a threat to the well being of the City of Rossford or its residents, or the effective operation of the Department. Chief Verbosky was given the option of resigning or retiring from his position, or face termination due to City Administration's belief that he could not effectively lead the Fire Department on a long term basis.  Shortly following the investigation, Chief Verbosky indicated to City Administration that he would be retiring from his position effective March 31, 2014. That retirement date was accepted by the City."
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 11:47
 

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