Terminated Ohio fire chief sues to be reinstated

By Holly Zachariah
The Columbus Dispatch

PICKAWAY COUNTY, Ohio — A longtime township fire chief in Pickaway County who was fired this month has sued to get his job back.

Porter “Chip” Welch had been chief of the Scioto Township Fire Department in the northern part of the county since 2005. Township trustees met on Aug. 16 and fired him. Trustee Ralph Wolfe told The Dispatch that no one from the township could comment.

Pickaway County Prosecutor Judy Wolford was part of an executive session trustees held the night that Welch was fired. She said the official reasons trustees listed for the chief's termination included failure to submit a balanced budget, failure to properly investigate potential misconduct within the fire department, failure to advise trustees of infractions and pending disciplinary actions of appointed firefighters, and failure to let trustees know about meetings and training.

Welch, 44, filed the civil lawsuit in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court Monday appealing his firing. He referred questions to his attorney, Michael Moses. Moses said Monday afternoon that the case has been referred to Columbus-based labor attorney John Marshall. He could not be reached.

The township fire department covers about 11,000 residents in the township and in the village of Commercial Point. Its website says it has 12 full-time firefighters in addition to its chief. It was unclear Monday who is in currently running the department.

Copyright 2018 The Columbus Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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