CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team uncovered an investigation surrounding the chief of the fire department at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The I-Team found he does not have state certifications needed for firefighters and paramedics.

A state agency tells us it is investigating, but the airport says there’s an easy explanation.

Hopkins Airport says it hired Demari Garth from out of state to come here as airport fire chief in 2018 and the airport gave him more time to get certified in Ohio.

But, when we checked a state website, we saw “no certifications found” for firefighting or working on an ambulance.

We followed up and found we’re not the only ones asking questions.

The Department of Public Safety wrote in an email, “We can confirm that an investigation is open in this matter. As a reminder, investigations are confidential until the case is closed.”

We also asked city hall for the dates when Garth earned the state certifications and the law department response was “no responsive records.”

So, we went to the city’s director of port control. Robert Kennedy said travelers should not be concerned.

Kennedy said, “He does not fight fires. He does not administer medical attention. He’s a commander.”

Kennedy considers Garth top-notch, pointing out he has experience running an airport fire unit in Pennsylvania, even teaching fire rescue operations.

But, we wondered why he does not have certification after more than three years.

Kennedy says the chief didn’t get the certification before due to the COVID-19 outbreak and other factors.

That includes administrative issues with the state revolving around Cleveland having a city fire chief and an airport fire chief.

Kennedy added, “He’s signed up to take the test for firefighting in August. He has 30 years experience. Twenty-five of that in leadership. He has seen a lot. He has done a lot.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the city council public safety committee reacted by saying he wants to know more.

Michael Polensek said, “That’s not acceptable. I think that’s an issue that has to be looked into by the administration and rectified as soon as possible.”

We went to airport fire headquarters. We were told the fire chief had no comment for us.

But, he will have to address having no Ohio certifications.