MOUNT VERNON — Current paramedic, firefighter and firefighter investigator certifications for Mount Vernon Fire Department Chief Shawn Christy are valid until July 14, according to information received by the News through a public records request. New certificates for firefighter and fire investigator are listed as pending until the old cards expire. However, Christy’s paramedic certification is listed as “needs approval.” That status, according to John Kenngington of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Emergency Medical Service, could mean several things.
“It just means we are looking for more documentation or there is an administrative situation that has the documentation in holding,” Kennington said. “That’s what it means to us. Most of the application process is online, so administratively, if it’s held up for whatever reasons — whether there is a case pending or they didn’t submit a document, or they answered a question wrong, that would hold it up and make it ‘needs approval.’”
Kennington said there could be a simple solution to the problem but while it remains in a “needs approval” status, he cannot provide an easy answer.
“If it’s off in one of the other areas and there is a case pending, it goes to investigative services and when they are done with it, it comes back to me,” Kennington said.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety Emergency Medical Services board will meet June 15, but the state investigation of Christy is not on the agenda as of Wednesday.
“This is not typical,” Geoff Dutton of the communications office of ODPS said of the fact it has taken more than five months since the initial complaint was filed. “It sounds like there will be no resolution on our end for a while.”
A complaint was filed Dec. 29, 2010, with the ODPS by a state fire marshal investigator. The complaint alleges that Christy “has been giving false statements on his recertification paperwork for his paramedic certification.”
Christy was placed on paid administrative leave a week ago while an investigation takes place. City officials will not comment as to who is conducting the investigation. The ODPS is looking into allegations that Christy falsified recertification paperwork for his paramedic’s card.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis remains out of town on vacation and is unavailable for comment. Safety-Service Director Dave Glass is also out of the office today and unavailable for comment.