Fla. fire captain fired, another resigns over drinking incident

One captain turned in his resignation after being cited for intoxication; another was fired after failing to tell officials about the incident.

Hernando Today

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — One Brooksville Fire Department captain has been fired and another has resigned over an April incident involving drinking while driving a fire engine.

Captain Sammy Schey, who was cited for intoxication, turned in his resignation. Captain William Kaplan was terminated after a report said he did not take the proper steps when he learned about Schey.

At about 9:30 p.m. April 6, Kaplan was notified by a firefighter that Schey — off-duty at the time — was at the Brooksville fire station and appeared to be “visibly impaired and intoxicated,” according to a memo from Brooksville Fire Chief Timothy Mossgrove.

While smoking a cigarette outside, Kaplan saw one of the fire engines returning to the station with its emergency lights on. When the firefighter told Kaplan that Schey was operating the vehicle, he “disregarded any concern about the health, safety and welfare of city property or citizens and chose to return inside the station without reporting the incident to your superior,” the report said.

A subsequent Brooksville Fire Department Internal Affairs investigation upheld the charges against Kaplan, which included failure to take official actions of violations, inefficiency of performance of duties and unacceptable conduct. A copy of the investigation was not immediately available on Wednesday.

Schey turned in his resignation to the department on April 27, citing medical reasons. In his letter, Schey said he served the Brooksville Fire Department “with respect and pride.”

Kaplan and Schey could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Mossgrove declined to comment on the incident.

Brooksville Mayor Kevin Hohn said he was unaware of the incident but intended to find out more Thursday.

“I would have expected something of this magnitude, certainly I should have been briefed and city council should have been briefed,” by the city manager Hohn said.

Hohn said the city will not tolerate employees drinking on the job.

“If we had an employee who was impaired on the job, he needs to be gone,” Hohn said.

Copyright 2014 Hernando Today
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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