Allen-Clay Joint Fire District: Battalion chief appeals disciplinary measure

Larry Limpf

A teleconference hearing in the case of a fire chief contesting a disciplinary measure against him is scheduled for Oct. 21. in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.
Mark Stahl, a battalion chief with the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District, is appealing a decision by the district’s board of trustees.
The board action stems from an August 2018 emergency run to a Williston residence where an intraosseous procedure was performed on an elderly man by an emergency medical technician who didn’t have the required certification for the procedure.
A disciplinary administrative hearing for chief Stahl was held Aug. 29 before the board of trustees of the ACJFD which found him not guilty of a misfeasance charge and guilty of a charge of misconduct in office.
The board said the evidence didn’t support a finding he “ordered or knowingly permitted EMT-Basic Justin Frank to perform an I/O medical procedure in violation of his EMT certification authority and district protocol.”
However, the board ruled Stahl was “guilty of misconduct in office by reason of nonfeasance, failing to administratively address the issue of …Frank performing an I/O procedure in violation of his….certification authority and district protocol when …Stahl knew or should have known of the occurrence …of Frank performing an I/O medical procedure…”
The decision also says Stahl failed to “properly report the violation.”
“The fact that….Stahl may not have directly observed the I/O procedure being performed by EMT-Basic Justin Frank with knowledge of Frank’s certification authority and district protocol as…..Stahl alleges, does not relieve him of his duty to report the violation as soon as the same became known to him, which he did not,” the decision says.
According to the board’s decision notice, all four board members, Scott Everhardt, chairman; Marilyn Opfer, Gaylord Sheldon and Darryl Bittner concurred in the findings for Stahl.
The board imposed a 60-day unpaid suspension and one-year probation for him and set a requirement for Stahl to complete a leadership course by Dec. 31.
In addition to Frank and Stahl, Cara Orra, a paramedic, was also the subject of a review by the board.
The district did not respond to an email request for copies of any disciplinary measures taken against Orra and Frank.
Stahl’s case has been assigned to Judge Bruce Winters.
Stahl is an Ottawa County commissioner. He declined to comment on the case other than to say: “Everybody’s entitled to appeal a decision like this and I look forward to having it heard in court.”


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