Decision due soon on Liberty firefighter’s fate

By robert Guttersohn


The township administration and its legal adviser expect to announce the fate of Liberty firefighter James K. Thompson by the middle of next week.

Township Administrator Pat Ungaro saidhe met with Fire Chief Michael Durkin and the township’s legal counsel, Atty. Mark Finamore, on Friday to discuss testaments compiled from Thompson’s fellow firefighters and Durkin.

Finamore said he will review the facts and decide whether there were any violations of the agreement the township had Thompson sign earlier in December after he returned from a four-month leave.

The agreement said Thompson had engaged in “acts of threats, violence, harassment and intimidation” to employees before being placed on leave in August.

The last-chance agreement also required Thompson to complete two behavioral- counseling programs.

After his return to work Dec. 12, Finamore said, officials noticed little change in Thompson.

This will be the township’s third attempt at terminating the 14-year firefighter. The township tried twice, in 2004 and 2007, according to Thompson’s personnel file. Both times, the termination was negotiated to a lesser punishment.

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