Dismissal of 3 Westfield firefighters, commission orders chief investigation
WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The State Civil Service Commission decided on Friday to overturn the dismissal of two Westfield firefighters and to change the discipline of a captain who made allegations of sexual assault harassment against a deputy head of the time who is now head of the department. .
In addition to changing the discipline of Captain Rebecca Boutin and overturning the dismissal of firefighters David Kennedy and Kyle Miltimore, the commission ordered an independent investigation into allegations of sexual assault harassment made by women against current Chief Patrick Egloff.
The decision came after a seven-day hearing and sworn testimony from 17 witnesses.
The three firefighters were fired in December 2019 by the Westfield Fire Commission, following an independent report by lawyer Dawn McDonald on the allegations of sexual harassment.
Court documents show McDonald’s was hired by the city and paid $ 46,000 for his findings, which reported that the three Westfield firefighters lied about their allegations and that then Deputy Chief Egloff, n had not committed the allegations against him.
The McDonald’s report also recommended that Egloff not be promoted to chef for other reasons. Boutin, Kennedy, and Miltimore appealed to the Civil Service Commission in December 2019, days after the McDonald’s report was released.
In its report, the committee concluded the following on Friday:
- The investigation report is riddled with examples of unsubstantiated ‘beliefs’ instead of establishing ‘facts’ as well as derogatory and inappropriate personality assessments which show the investigation to be tainted with bias and personal animosity. against appellants who discredit the investigator’s findings with respect to the appellants;
- A fair and impartial examination of the facts, as well as all the credible elements
evidence, exonerate the appellants of any wrongdoing except a charge
against the fire captain for making a false and damaging statement about the deputy fire chief at the time, which justifies a thirty day suspension;
- Undisputed acts of misconduct, as well as allegations of other serious misconduct on the part of the
then deputy chief of the fire brigade, were largely ignored, ignored or sanctioned by the
Westfield Fire Marshals, who voted to promote Deputy Fire Chief to Fire Chief
shortly after the appellants’ dismissal, reinforcing the relevance of
modifying the sanction of the fire brigade captain and justifying the opening of an investigation
under section 72 of the Civil Service Act.
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