×

Liberty fire captain demoted

LIBERTY — Liberty trustees voted unanimously in a brief meeting Thursday to further demote a one-time fire inspector.

Cathy Macchione was previously demoted to captain and on Thursday she was demoted to firefighter. She will not be eligible for consideration of promotion to captain for two years.

Although trustees contemplated adding a five-day unpaid suspension, trustees voted to remove that provision.

“With the staff shortages, we felt it was in the best interest of the township, the residents and the safety of the firefighters,” said Devon Stanley, trustee.

Eight administrative charges were filed against Macchione following the April 12 death of firefighter / paramedic John Beard.

The investigation led to the resignation of Lt. Josh Cleland, Lt. Justin Graham, and the retirement of Capt. Chris Olson. According to documents compiled after the police investigation, they were found to be in violation of several Liberty Township Fire Department policies and Ohio laws.

Macchione was charged with not reporting actions that could cause themselves or others to be injured while on duty. She also was charged with malfeasance and nonfeasance because she failed to report the suspected drug activities.

Three of the charges filed against Macchione revolve around her use of prescription drugs that could have affected her safety and the ability of others to perform their duties. Macchione failed to tell her supervisors about the drugs she had been prescribed by her doctor in 2014.

Members of the fire department are supposed to report when fellow members pose a risk to the health and safety of themselves and to others through the use of drugs, according to pre-disciplinary report.

Macchione is charged with failing to report suspected drug activity of fire / EMS personnel.

“Clearly Capt. Macchione had a duty to act under the oaths of the fire department and under the oath of a paramedic license in the State of Ohio,” noted Newton Falls fire Chief Douglas A. Theobald, who reviewed the allegation against Macchione.

Macchione was charged with not reporting actions that could cause themselves or others to be injured while on duty. She also was charged with malfeasance and nonfeasance because she failed to report the suspected drug activities.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)