MOUNT VERNON — The city’s investigation into allegations against Mount Vernon Fire Chief Shawn Christy continues, although little information is being released.
According to Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis, he was not aware of any allegations against Christy prior to the city being informed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety his paramedic’s re-certification was being audited.
City officials discussed the information that was provided by DPS on June 2, and called in Christy to give him the opportunity to respond to the allegations. It was after that conversation that the city administration determined it was necessary to place Christy on a paid administrative leave to assess the situation.
Mavis said he believed Christy was serving as an excellent fire chief and with Mavis’ “suspicious nature,” if allegations were brought to him, “he would have probably asked questions.” As far as someone else within the city hearing allegations prior to the state audit, Mavis said, “If it went to someone else, it didn’t come to me.”
Mavis did admit that Christy had previously been audited by the state, possibly in 2008. Inquiries to the date, cause and outcome of the audit have been placed with the media spokesperson for ODPS, but no details were confirmed as of press time today.
According to documents acquired by the News from a public records request, Christy completed 50.5 hours of in-house continuing education training from 24 training sessions between Dec. 31, 2008 and March 22, 2011. Additional hours can be acquired through other training opportunities but none are recorded in Christy’s file. Typically, the state requires 86 hours of continuing education, but because the state is changing its timeframe for re-certification, Christy may not have needed the full amount.
Mavis said he did not instruct officers or detectives from the Mount Vernon Police Department to look into the files at the Mount Vernon Fire Department. However, he stated he was unaware of what direction Assistant Law Director Rob Broeren and Director Bill Smith are taking with their investigation. A call to the City Law Director’s Office seeking comment was not returned at press time.