The investigation involves city firefighters also working part-time for the village of Woodmere.
While it began as an internal review, we’ve learned even police are asking questions.
Multiple sources confirm an investigation surrounding 11 firefighters. Among the questions, did some firefighters clock in, at times, to get paid with tax dollars from both jobs at once?
Officials have also noticed some firefighters, at times, worked a shift at one place that ended at the moment their shift in the other town started. No time in between to travel from one job to the other. And, no time to rest between jobs.
This all began when the fire chief in Woodmere sent an email to Cleveland Fire.
The Woodmere chief pointed out some firefighters had been working more than 48 hours a week at their part-time job in the village on top of working full-time in the city. That led Cleveland to start investigating.
“They have asked for my records, yes,” Woodmere Fire Chief Gina DeVito-Staub said.
She added that she’s waiting for Cleveland to get to the bottom of it.
“I have faith in the people that work here that they have high integrity. It’s one of our core values. Anything else, I’ll have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis,” the chief said.
Cleveland City Hall calls it an “active investigation.”
Cleveland Firefighters Union Local 93 issued a statement, saying, “We’ve been recently made aware of an investigation focused on several members of the Cleveland Fire Department. We believe a thorough investigation will exonerate the members in question.”
One firefighter working in both places spoke out at a village council meeting.
“They’re questioning, is there something wrong with the 11 individuals? What did they do wrong? And, I’m just here to tell you that those 11 individuals didn’t do anything wrong,” the firefighter said.
“Our biggest thing, what we want to do is just cooperate,” Woodmere Mayor Benjamin Holbert said.
The mayor pointed out that at the heart of this is your tax dollars and safety.
“When the bell rings and somebody needs assistance, we want to be there quick, fast and in a hurry,” the mayor said.
Now, hard questions about who worked where and when. As the investigation moves forward, we will update the story.