Licking County News

Testimony concludes in case against Fire Chief David Fulmer

West Licking board expected to decide Fulmer’s Fate July 10

The West Licking Joint Fire District Board is expected to make a decision on District Fire Chief David Fulmer’s fate Thursday, July 10.

Fulmer is being charged with violating provisions of the fire district’s policy on technology “through his deliberate misuse and reckless mismanagement of district-owned laptop computers and thereby (committing) misconduct in office, malfeasance, nonfeasance and gross neglect of duty.”

The charges include specifications of Fulmer allowing his family to use the computer, of having inappropriate material downloaded to the computers and of using the computer to view sexually explicit websites.

He also is being accused of using the laptops for private business ventures for profit, constituting misconduct and malfeasance.

A fifth charge, brought forth June 12, reiterates the charge of violating the fire district’s policy on technology by “using a district owned cellphone to transmit an image of a naked woman’s torso and exposed breasts” to a potential employee.

The sixth charge alleges that by texting the image, Fulmer violated the fire district’s sexual harassment policy, which constitutes misconduct and malfeasance in office.

The board heard almost nine hours of testimony against Fulmer – from 6 p.m. June 17 to 2:45 a.m. June 18 – before suspending the hearing until Tuesday, July 8.

The hearing resumed at 6 p.m. July 8 and concluded at almost exactly the same time as the first – just after 2:40 a.m. this morning, July 9.

Fulmer’s attorneys David “Chip” Comstock and Paul Bittner finished cross examining Douglas Duckett of the Duckett Law Firm of Cincinnati, who investigated the complaints against Fulmer and testified against Fulmer before calling three witnesses in Fulmer’s defense.

When the testimony was concluded, Fulmer’s attorneys requested the board consider 16 motions for dismissal of the case based on what Comstock called procedural issues, common law and due process for Fulmer.

None of the motions for dismissal were voted on by the board because none received a motion to be heard from a board member.

Closing arguments were heard before the board adjourned for the morning.

The fire district’s next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10 at the West Licking Fire station. 851 E. Broad St., Pataskala.

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