The top official charged in a sex scandal at the Columbus Division of Fire was given a suspension of 24 hours and demoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
The decision comes after an internal investigation by the Columbus Division of Fire found Battalion Chief Gerald Birkhimer guilty of dishonesty, insubordination, neglect of duty, failure of good behavior, and failure to meet standards of conduct for supervisors and administrators.
Most of his violations stem from his supervision of Firefighter Marc Cain, who was found to have conducted an extramarital affair with an 18-year-old woman while on duty inside Station 17 on the Hilltop.
Birkhimer testified that he, like the other firefighters, believed Cain's cover story that the woman was a friend of the family, a "daughter figure". Birkhimer learned the truth in February of 2013, when the mistress confessed to him that she and Cain were having sex inside the firehouse. By that time, Birkhimer had been transferred out of Station 17, but he admits, he didn't act on the information.
Birkhimer’s suspension will begin today and end on Saturday.