Firefighter Background Check Results In Duty Dismissal - New York News

Firefighter Background Check Results In Duty Dismissal

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A new policy in Leonia, New Jersey has people questioning how far background checks should actually go when they do an investigation into someone.

Former Leonia Volunteer Fire Chief David Bohnert was recently fired from his position because a background check revealed that he had a 1998 conviction for ‘Lewdness Observed By Children Under 13'.

Multiple calls to the chief and fire department were not returned, so the specifics of what happened are still unclear. However, court documents show that the chief got fined and served out 2 years' probation, but did not serve any jail time.

Councilman Greg Makroulakis who is also on the fire committee in Leonia said that the borough has a responsibility to keep people safe and that a background check isn't unreasonable.

"We felt that it was necessary to start implicating this in different departments, the fire department was the next department to be done, the fire department has access to homes and businesses and for a comfort level with the community we just thought that would be the next one we were working on, we were working on the ordinance," he explained.

The councilman also pointed out that there is heightened sensitivity because there was a sexual assault that took place on the grounds of the Leonia fire department recently. It didn't involve the firefighters, but it was on their grounds.

The chief had the opportunity to appeal his release, but he did not show up.

 

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