Ohio Fire Chief Wins Court Battle


Fire Chief David Fulmer has won a major battle with the West Licking Joint Fire District, who sought to terminate him last fall. Chief Fulmer was terminated allegedly because he violated the district’s Internet-use policy.

Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain ruled last week that the district’s Board of Trustees “offered no substantial evidence” that Chief Fulmer actually violated the policy.

The alleged violation involved computer files that were placed on his computer that pertained to Chief Fulmer’s prior position as chief of the Miami Township Fire Department. According to Chief Fulmer the files included policies that may have some applicability to West Licking Joint and correspondence with professional associations.

Hopefully Chief Fulmer’s esteemed legal counsel, Chip Comstock, will be able to provide us with a copy of the ruling over the next day or so. Perhaps he will also be so kind as to explain the origins of the name West Licking Joint.

The West Licking Joint Fire District Board of Trustees are vowing an appeal. More on the story.

Incidentally, Chip, Brad Pinsky, John Murphy and I will be presenting at FDIC see week. We hope to see you in Indy!!!!


UPDATE FROM INDIANAPOLIS: Here is the decision, courtesy of Chip: Judgment Entry

We are still waiting impatiently for the West Licking Joint explanation….

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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