Madison Township fire chief to retire; township police officer demoted

By Linda Dillman

Staff Writer

Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates will retire on Jan. 12.

Bates began his fire service career in 1983 with the Perry Township Fire Department in Lake County where he started as a paid-on-call firefighter and progressed through the ranks to become the fire chief.
He joined the Madison Township Fire Department in August 2000 and has served as chief and assistant chief.
In 2003, he was named Fire Official of the Year by the Central Ohio Code Officials Association, currently serves as chairman of the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association Legislative Committee and is an adjunct faculty staff member at the Ohio Fire Academy.

Madison Township Police news
A pre-disciplinary hearing for Police Chief Ken Braden, scheduled for Nov. 15, was postponed at his request.
However, the Madison Township trustees took action on Nov. 6 to continue the paid administrative leave and demote former Captain James Dean to police officer.

After a pre-disciplinary public hearing on Oct. 23, the trustees determined there was enough evidence to establish that Dean engaged in intentionally derogatory, vulgar and lewd language and gestures of strong sexual innuendo in the public and restricted areas of the police station. As a result of the violations of township policy and state and federal employment law, trustees Victor Paini and John Kershner approved continuing Dean’s administrative leave and reduction in rank, with trustee Ed Dildine abstaining.

Santa parade in doubt
Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the annual Santa Parade might be in jeopardy.

“Right now, we don’t have anyone willing to coordinate that,” said Brobst. “The date is set for Dec. 3 and the school has been secured.”

Kershner suggested the township send out an email “blast” to determine if anyone is willing to help out.

House explosion
Bates updated the board on the investigation of a Nov. 6 house explosion on Everson Road East that took the life of one resident and put another in the hospital.

“It’s going to be slow-going and very methodical,” said Bates, who said the investigation is under the control of the township and the state fire marshal’s office. “We have to be sensitive to a number of legal ramifications. We have to be sensitive to needs and take our time.”

Bates said the site will not be immediately cleaned up and it could take some time before the debris is removed—at least until the end of the month or the first week of December.

“Part of the step-by-step process is eliminating one thing and moving on to another,” said Bates. “No determination has been made as to the cause.”

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