Thursday, May 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CA
A former Compton firefighter who once appeared on a reality television show has been arrested on suspicion of grand theft and of trying to set his fire department's headquarters ablaze to destroy evidence.
Former Deputy Fire Chief Marcel Melanson was being held on $250,000 bail Thursday after being arrested at home Wednesday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's statement says the 37-year-old is accused of stealing radios worth thousands of dollars that were part of a stalled communications upgrade.
Melanson is accused of selling the radios on the Internet, then setting the fire on Dec. 11 to destroy the remaining evidence.
His chief had suspicions and asked the Sheriff's Department to investigate.
Melanson, who had appeared on the BET reality series "First In," was fired from the department after 15 years.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Former-Compton-firefighter-arrested-in-arson-4524191.php#ixzz2TYjevznE
Thursday, May 16, 2013
BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC
Police say two more people have been arrested in connection with a prostitution case in Boiling Spring Lakes, including a firefighter. Meanwhile, investigators say a police officer arrested in the case was robbed during the incident in question.
Boiling Spring Lakes Police Chief Bradford Shirley said Richard Kyle Mulligan, 23, a member of the Boiling Spring Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, is charged with participating in prostitution of a minor. Police say Mulligan turned himself in today to the magistrate's office.
Boiling Spring Lakes Police Det. Rick Spencer says in November, then Northwest Police officer Michael Hayes was texting with the 17-year-old prostitute, who told him she'd be walking along a dirt road and what she was wearing so he could pick her up.
Spencer says after Hayes picked the girl up, he drove her to another location, where he exchanged money for a sex act. During the encounter, police say three men tried to rob Hayes and shot into his car.
Police have charged Matthew Dillon Vaczy, Shawn Conley and Kyle Bradley Wolfe in connection with the attempted robbery. They are also charged in connection with a home break-in in BSL a week earlier. with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering and larceny of a firearm. Conley and Wolfe have been in jail since May 4 charged with two counts each of promoting prostitution of a minor.
Spencer says Wolfe and Conley were friends in prison, and that when they got out, they started pimping. He says they started with one girl, but has expanded to involve more.
The SBI also charged Hayes with filing a false report based on information investigators say he gave a Brunswick County Sheriff's deputy about the damage to his car. Police say Hayes did not report the robbery to police. Instead investigators developed the information through the ongoing prostitution investigation and forwarded it on to the SBI.
"His name came up as part of the investigation, and once his name came up we immediately contacted the SBI," Spencer said. "We wanted no part of it because of his position with the police department."
We went by Hayes's home in Southport today for his side of the story, but no one came to the door.
Police say the 17-year-old girl has not been charged, because she is a minor who was forced into prostitution.
If you have any information, you're asked to call Boiling Spring Lakes Police at (910) 845-2247.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
A former Coventry fire chief, accused of having sex with an underage girl, allegedly sent the victim a letter declaring he hadn't broken any laws and urging her to say so to the court, according to the warrant for his arrest.
But 53-year-old Joseph Carilli, who is jailed at Cheshire Correctional Institution, attempted to make it appear as though someone else had mailed it without his knowledge, according to the warrant. In two handwritten, double-sided pages, Carilli refers to the victim in the third person.
"I had no power over her because I was a volunteer fire chief and nothing happened when she was 15," it reads. "I need [the victim] to rescue me by telling court or writing very clear nothing happened when she was 15."
A third page is composed in different handwriting and contains misspelled words and grammatical errors. Investigators believe Carilli wanted to make it appear that someone found the letter and mailed it to the victim without Carilli's knowledge, the warrant states.
"I put so paper in mail to you, he crasy for u, I hate him," the page reads.
But investigators believe Carilli sent the letter, thereby violating a protective order barring him from contacting the girl after his arrest in February. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with the then 15-year-old in the South Coventry fire department's junior firefighter program.
He was originally charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
He was arrested April 26 in connection with the letter and was charged with tampering with a witness, violating a protective order and second-degree harassment, police said.
Both cases are pending in Superior Court in Rockville.
The victim told police she received the handwritten letter on April 3 when she came home from school and was disturbed by what it said. It had arrived in an envelope from Hartford Correctional, where Carilli was first sent after his arrest.
But police noticed that the letter had been mailed from a zip code in Cheshire. They learned that Carilli had been transferred to the Cheshire Correctional Institution.
The victim, now 17, told police she had an abortion after being impregnated by Carilli, according to the arrest warrant for the earlier charges.
Carilli said the teen was blackmailing him and forcing him into the relationship by threatening to tell the rest of the department he had been convicted in the 1980s for sexually assaulting a minor, the warrant states.
Carilli was chief of the department from June 2006 to Nov. 30, 2012. He then led the department's training program.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thirteen Cleveland firefighters have been indicted for theft in office by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.
The indictments were released Wednesday by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty.
According to the indictment paperwork, each man was indicted on one count of theft in office, a 3rd degree felony, and one count of receiving improper compensation, a 1st degree misdemeanor. The documents show that the offense occurred on or around “9/30/2008 to 12/31/2010.”
Some shift swapping is allowed; but prosecutors said the men abused the privilege.
Records show the men paid other firefighters to do their job, so they could work other full time jobs; all while collecting a city paycheck.
The following list includes the men named in the indictment:
Calvin Robinson, 52, of Cleveland
Kevin Dever, 42, of Cleveland
Bernard Fronhapple, 51, of Rocky River
Barry Kifus, 40, of Painesville
Kevin P. Kelly, 52, of Olmsted Falls
James Oleksiak, 44, of Cleveland
Robert Graham, 50, of Lakewood
Michael Milano, 53, of Broadview Heights
Nicholas Rucella, 49, of Cleveland
Gary McNamara, 48, of Bay Village
Peter Corso, 47, of Concord
Thomas Jurcisin, 51, of Cleveland
Daniel Losteiner, 45, of Cleveland
McGinty said the 13 men “failed to work 2,000 hours (approximately one year)”
The worst case was “Calvin Robinson failed to work 8,456 hours (approximately 4 ½ years)”
McGinty said the indictments are part of a larger investigation.
In July, 2011 an audit conducted by the Cleveland Division Of Internal Audit was turned over to the Cleveland Police Department.
In April, 2012 the first firefighter charged for the payroll abuse was then 46-year-old Timothy Debarr. He received 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
At that time Public Safety Director Martin Flask said, “This is a systemic failure with administrative duties and responsibilities within the division of fire.”
Wednesday the city responded with a statement saying, “given that this is now a matter before the court, the city of Cleveland will not comment.”
It went on to say, “These firefighters will be immediately relieved of duty. An administrative pre-disciplinary hearing will be scheduled, at which time it is expected the firefighters will be suspended without pay pending adjudication of the charges…”
Staffing will be adjusted within the fire department in the meantime to ensure the safety of all citizens.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
WEST NEWTON, PA
The West Newton fire chief came under fire on Monday for permitting his son to be driven to the Yough High School prom last month in a borough fire truck.
Borough council unanimously approved a resolution it will send to the fire department expressing its “displeasure” that the fire department permitted one of its trucks on April 26 “to be used as a prom limousine” to drive Chief Craig Sanner's son, Dustin, and his date to the high school in Sewickley Township.
“If true, we feel this is an inappropriate use of public monies,” council stated in the resolution. The borough provides money for insurance coverage for the fire department, said Charles Wade, borough solicitor.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y.
A volunteer firefighter in Sleepy Hollow pleaded guilty Monday to doing the exact opposite of his job and setting a fire that left 19 people homeless.
Trent Bronner, 23, pleaded guilty to three counts of arson in connection with the incident on March 20, 2011, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
Around 5:10 a.m. that day, a resident of Cedar Street in Sleepy Hollow awoke when her dog started barking. She looked out the window to discover that the porch was on fire at a house nearby at 13 Cedar St.
Full story: Volunteer Firefighter Admits To Burning Down 2 Houses In Sleepy Hollow
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
WEST GARDINER, MA
The first female fire chief in West Gardiner has been fired, less than three months on the job.
Town officials say Vicki Dill didn't meet the requirements of an agreement with the town to improve her skills, including being able to drive a fire truck.
Dill became chief in February after signing a settlement over complaints that the town refused to appoint her chief in 2009 because she's a woman.
The Maine Human Rights Commission found in her favor.
Dill had until early May to prove she'd fullfilled the requirements of her new position to stay on the job.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A former Phoenix firefighter has been sentenced to 45 days in jail plus three years of probation on convictions stemming from an off-duty 2011 accident in which his truck struck a teenage skateboarder in a crosswalk.
Mark Steven Nehrenz was originally charged with leaving the scene of an accident, endangerment and two DUI counts.
However, the endangerment charge and one DUI count were dismissed, and he pleaded guilty on April 10 to endangerment and one DUI count.
Judge Susanna Pineda of Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Nehrenz on Tuesday.
Monday, May 13, 2013
BRADDOCK HILLS, Pa. —Braddock Hills firefighters claim that officials are not allowing certain people to join because of the color of their skin.
The worries began two weeks ago when a Park Avenue home in Braddock Hills caught on fire. "The club will not allow African-Americans to join as firefighters," said firefighter Steven Lisovich.
Lisovich said he has been a member of Braddock Hills Volunteer Fire Department for eight years, but he says many of his friends cannot join.
"There is a couple of people around here and some of my friends in Swissvale that want to join just to help us out but they're African-Americans."
Braddock Hills Department has been struggling. Lisovich said they need members, but that those willing to help are being turned away.
Mayor Mark Vogel said, "I've heard of them trying to join, and they were turned down. I don't know how they do it, if they blow them off or what, but they don't get in."
The president of Braddock Hills Welfare Fire Association, Ray Cunic, said the claims of racism are a lie.
"Anyone can fill out an application." Cunic said.
Braddock Hills Councilman Tom Evans said it has always been known in their community, that African-Americans were not allowed to belong to the fire department.
"That fire house has been a thorn in the side of African-Americans for a lot of years," Evans said.
Lisovich said he will fight for equality at the council meeting on Thursday. Lisovich believes that officials within the fire department are preventing them for saving lives, by keeping African-Americans out of a department that needs members and wants to welcome everyone.
Read more: http://www.wtae.com/news/local/allegheny/braddock-hills-volunteer-fire-department-faces-questions-of-race/-/10927008/20130966/-/12oj9r8/-/index.html#ixzz2TSQ7D7RY
Monday, May 13, 2013
A Jackson firefighter has reportedly resigned as a result of his DUI arrest in February.
According to the City of Jackson Personnel Department, John Todd Keim gave verbal notice that he intended to resign from his position on May 8. Officials stated that Keim told them that his resignation stemmed from his DUI arrest and restrictions placed on his driver’s license. He has yet to submit a written resignation.
According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Keim returned to the Madison County Jail over the weekend to serve 48 hours. He was released Monday morning. Jail records stated that Keim was booked for DUI 1st offense.
Keim started working with the Jackson Fire Department in October 2008.
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