Ohio Chief Indicted For Stealing and Forgery

The former fire chief of a now-defunct fire department in Ohio has been indicted for stealing and forgery.

Jason L. Kukwa was named in a two-count indictment handed down by a Tuscarawas County Grand Jury for stealing from the Midvale Fire Department. The forgery count alleges Kukwa took $3,400 in cash and checks belonging to the department between January 21, 2020 and January 31, 2021. The forgery count alleges he wrote five checks totaling $2300 to himself between January 21, 2020 and September 28, 2020 without proper authority.

Kukwa, 36, had been serving as the fire chief for the Midvale Fire Department following the unceremonious departure of his predecessor in 2019. The department had been struggling to maintain staffing and appeared to be at odds with local elected officials. Kukwa was appointed as fire chief by Mayor Donna Kohler to help rebuild the department.

The Midvale Fire Department was replaced earlier this year by the Dennison Fire Department.

More on the story.

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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