Battalion Chief Knew Of Firefighter's Affair With Teen, Failed To Report
There are new questions about what went on inside a Columbus firehouse where a firefighter is accused of carrying out a long-term sexual relationship with a teenager
On Monday, 10TV broke the news of the investigation into the whether the married, veteran firefighter used his firehouse to conduct an affair.
Now, documents obtained by 10TV reveal fire division brass knew of the allegations, but did nothing.
The investigation is ongoing, and no one has been charged, which is why 10TV is not identifying any of the people involved.
Public records obtained by 10TV lay out the allegations, including interviews conducted with all parties.
The accused firefighter is a 48-year-old veteran with the division. The woman accusing him says their affair began in September 2011, when she was 18, and continued until the end of this April.
That's when her father contacted Fire Division administrators. The firefighter admits the affair, but denies it happened on the job.
The investigation reveals the firefighter's former boss, a Battalion Chief, found the young woman's story "very believable." He says he had seen her in the firefighter's bedroom, and riding along on medics and rescue vehicles. He says the woman is a friend of his daughter's, and confessed the affair to him on February 15.
"She said she had sex in the firehouse with (him)....She was very specific." the Chief says. "She said she lost her virginity."
He told investigators she provided "significant details" that made him believe her.
He was asked, "Did she inform you that she had the security access code to enter Station 17?" The Chief replied, "Yes."
"She told me that (he) had her park a block away, and she would run to the firehouse and run in the backdoor so that they couldn't see her car. And she would come in the backdoor and sneak in at 3 o'clock in the morning,” added the Chief.
By the time of the confession, the Chief was no longer over Station 17, but the alleged conduct happened on his watch.
"So now that you had this information, what did you do?" asked investigators.
He replied, "I didn't do anything...this was February. I was removed...in October."
He admitted to sharing the information, but not with anyone in a position to do anything about it.
"So you kept this to yourself since?" investigators asked.
"I told other people in the Fire Department," he answered.
But he admitted that he did not tell anyone in authority.
The Battalion Chief declined to talk with 10TV for this story.
During his talk with investigators, he said he did not report the allegations, in part, because he was no longer in charge of Station 17.
He also said he had recently been investigated himself because of the firefighter in question, and if he reported the woman's story, it would appear he was out to get the firefighter.
One Lieutenant told investigators that he didn't know about the affair but saw the young woman in the firefighter's room, and told him she couldn't be there. He said he even outlined new guidelines with the staff that visitors should only be inside the station during normal hours; they should stay in common areas, and should be escorted by an employee.
He told investigators even after that, he still caught the young woman in the private quarters of the firehouse.
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