PA Chief Charged with Failing to Report Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Deputy Chief

A Pennsylvania fire chief is facing obstruction of justice charges for failing to report allegations that his deputy chief sexually abused a junior firefighter. Fire Chief Thomas Weber of the Folcroft Fire Department has been charged with failing to report suspected child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, and obstructing an investigation.

Chief Weber, 52, is accused of not reporting allegations against former Folcroft Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Bateman, 28. The allegations involved sexual misconduct that took place at the firehouse. According to CBS News, Chief Weber received three reports about Chief Bateman in mid-November, 2022. Both chiefs were suspended in December when Chief Bateman was charged criminally.

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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