Battalion Chief Latest To Be Investigated As Part Of Sex Scandal
As one investigation into firefighter misbehavior ends, another begins.
Allegations of on-the-job sex by a Columbus firefighter have now spread to include the top brass at Station 17 on the Hilltop.
The investigation of firefighter Marc Cain found that he used city property to conduct an extramarital affair on city time.
It happened over the course of a year and a half at Station 17.
That investigation has concluded, but from it, another is being launched.
This time, it's a Battalion Chief, not a firefighter, in the crosshairs.
10TV is not naming the Battalion Chief in question, because he has not been officially charged with wrongdoing.
He is the focus of a new investigation into possible inappropriate conduct on the job.
10TV has reported on this Chief before. During the investigation into Firefighter Marc Cain's sexual relationship with a young woman, the Chief admitted he'd known about the affair.
He said the woman, now 20 years old, confessed to him in February.
"She said she had sex in the fire house with Marc," he told investigators. "She was very specific. She said she lost her virginity."
Investigators asked what he did with the information.
The Chief responded, "I didn't do anything. This was February. I was removed (from the station) in October."
"So you kept this to yourself since?" investigators asked.
"I told other people in the Fire Department." the Chief replied.
"Anybody of authority?" they asked.
"Nobody in authority."
He told investigators the woman confessed to more than sex.
"Did she inform you that she had the security access code to enter Station 17?" they asked.
"Yes," he answered.
Still, the Chief says he did nothing. The Cain investigation turned up another allegation against the Battalion Chief.
Multiple firefighters testified they saw Cain's mistress in the station, in his bedroom, doors closed, night and day.
One firefighter said the Battalion Chief displayed the very same behavior with a female firefighter.
He told investigators, "You cannot go after Firefighter Cain without discussing this Chief _______ situation because they are identical."
He went on, "I can't sit there and tell you those two were having an affair. I can tell you that the actions they exhibited are exactly like Firefighter Cain and (his mistress)."
Investigators asked "You personally have seen her (female firefighter) in (the Chief's) room?"
The answer: "Yes."
"Have you known her to be in there with the doors closed?"
"So it was frequent?"
"It was very frequent."
"And it wasn't hidden?"
So what is going on at Station 17? And does it represent a broader culture problem within the Division of Fire?
Those are the questions 10TV wanted to ask of Fire Chief Greg Paxton. Neither he nor anyone else from the Division would comment.
The investigation of the Battalion Chief just got underway.
The investigation into Marc Cain is complete. He was found guilty of administrative charges of dishonesty, insubordination, and failure of good behavior.
Chief Paxton is reviewing those findings.
He could overturn them or let them stand, and then decide Cain’s discipline.