Fired NW Ohio fire chief wins appeal, To be paid lost wages and benefits

Jerusalem Township's fire chief, Harold Stanton, has won an appeal after being fired in March.

Jerusalem Township's fire chief, terminated by a unanimous township trustee vote in March, has won an appeal to be reinstated and reimbursed his lost wages and benefits.

On Monday, Lucas Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandross ruled that the firing of Harold Stanton violated both the chief's constitutional rights and the township's personnel rules.

The Judge specifically stated that the trustees should have considered Stanton's 25-year career during their deliberations on his termination, as mandated by the township's personnel manual.

Stanton's constitutional rights were also violated because township trustees acted as both judge and jury in the case, according to Judge Mandross.

Steps to remove Stanton began in early 2013 after he was accused of allowed a local resident, Jim Gray, to remain at the scene of multiple emergencies.

Gray is a former firefighter and EMT for the township whose applications to continue in those positions have been denied by the trustees.

Supporters of Stanton and Gray say that the entire dispute stems from the fact that the current trustees have an acrimonious relationship with Gray's relative, a former trustee member.

Trustee Joe Kiss told the Toledo Blade that he regretted Judge Mandross' decision and said "the trustees will have to meet and decide what next step to take".