Township fire chief investigation determines no merit, culprits sought

By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- On Monday night the township board of trustees received a report following the investigation of unspecified written allegations against the Township Fire Chief Kevin Mason.
“I’m extremely pleased and not at all surprised to say that after a very comprehensive analysis and dozens and dozens of interviews with the entire fire department, fire chiefs in the area, fire marshal and anyone you can think of they (investigators) have determine that each of the nine charges in the letter are without foundation,” said Bob DePalma, township supervisor.
In July, 2020 the board of trustees voted 5-0 to hire Jane Doe Investigations to begin the process. Following a closed session meeting the board allocated $25,000 from the capital outlay reserves to investigate the allegations of Mason. DePalma, discussed the eight page report after it was first sent to the township attorney. Through JDI all of the allegations in the letter were investigated to determine if there were any issues the township should be concerned about.
DePalma read the conclusion of the JDI report on Monday night.
“While the letter was signed by the Groveland Township Firefighters and presented as a collaborative effort, it was not,” said DePalma, reading from the JDI report. “The allegations listed in the anonymous letter have been found to have no merit and were clearly not sent by the Groveland Township Fire Department.”

DePalma deemed the letter regarding Mason as salacious and very disturbing, written some months ago conveniently distributed before the election and in a way that most of the township officers received it at the last minute. Casting some very negative aspersions on the fire department and chief.
The board then voted 4-0 to move forward with the investigation to allow JDI to determine the person or persons that may have written and distributed the letter.
A further investigation is forthcoming, said DePalma.
“There’s a second part to this,” said DePalma. “We have authorized the funds for doing this investigation on the letter and they have completed the report. However, there are a couple of issues they want to investigate further to help identify the person or persons that deliberately sent out this erroneous and incorrect information.  I would like the board to continue to let JDI finish the investigation on those issues to see if we can come up with information on who actually did this.”

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