1. #1
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    Exclamation Bay County Fla--Another Disgrace! Volunteer Fire Chief Accused of Sex With Minors

    Panama City News Herald

    Fire chief accused of sex with minors

    By Anthony Cormier News Herald Writer 747-5089 / acormier@pcnh.com

    Bay County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested the chief of the Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department Tuesday after they said he had a sexual relationship with two minors.

    Authorities charged Timothy McGarry, 40, with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. He was taken to the Bay County Jail and declined comment.

    Authorities said McGarry "had been sexually active" with two girls under the age of 16 during the past year. Sheriff’s Investigator Jeremy Mathis said McGarry was an acquaintance of the girls, and had intercourse and oral sex with them on numerous occasions.

    The girls recently told their mother about the sex, Mathis said, and investigators conducted Child Protection Team interviews Monday.

    Authorities then obtained a search warrant for McGarry’s home, at 3605 Oakbrook Lane, and said Tuesday they found undergarments inside the residence belonging to one of the victims.

    The clothing was found in the location where the victim told investigators it would be, authorities said. McGarry was "very compliant and non-confrontational" during his arrest, Mathis said.

    "Minors cannot consent to sex until the age of 16," he said. "These girls are dealing with it fairly well with the help of their family."

    According to Emergency Services Chief Bob Majka, the county will wait until its own investigation is complete before it decides McGarry’s fate.

    "All I’m aware of right now is that a warrant was issued," Majka said. "I’m not sure about the particulars. We really don’t have any information to make a decision. We have a process we go through … to make a decision based on a determination of the facts."

    Majka said he could not immediately say when McGarry took over as the volunteer department’s chief, although he believed it was "at the end of 1999 or the beginning of 2000."

    McGarry was "elected, not appointed" to the position by members of the not-for-profit Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. As chief, he oversees 18 volunteers and six career firefighters in his district, Majka said.

    "He’s responsible for the day-today operation of that district," Majka said.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    captstanm1,

    Do you have any idea how Bay County functions? The article said this guy was the elected chief of a independent combo department but the Emergency Services Chief's statements make it sound like they have some authority to discipline him. I would also be curious to know if he is a career member of the department.

    I ask because the article makes no mention of a suspension. I can't believe that any governmental body would allow someone under a felony sex crimes indictment to continue on active duty. I don't want to believe an independent department's membership would allow it either but given recent events I'm not so certain.

  3. #3
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    Default Not sure

    I am not sure of the structure up there. I believe they have a Career Staff that oversees the Department and each individual volunteer station has it's own leadership. The Career Administration is more or less a liaison between the volunteers, and the County. I checked the local paper there for more stories but can not find any.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  4. #4
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    Post The AP copy

    PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A volunteer fire chief has been
    charged with having sex with two underage girls several times
    during the past year.
    Timothy McGarry, 40, chief of Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire
    Department, was arrested Tuesday on two counts of lewd and
    lascivious battery. McGarry declined comment at the Bay County Jail
    in Panama City where he was awaiting a first court appearance
    Wednesday.
    Bay County sheriff's investigator Jeremy Mathis said McGarry, an
    acquaintance of the girls, repeatedly had intercourse and oral sex
    with them.
    They recently told their mother about the alleged sex, and she
    notified authorities, Mathis said. He said a search of McGarry's
    home turned up one of the alleged victim's undergarments where she
    had told investigators they would be.
    "Minors cannot consent to sex until the age of 16," Mathis
    said. "These girls are dealing with it fairly well with the help
    of their family."
    Bob Majka, chief of emergency services for the county, said his
    agency will conduct its own investigation before making any
    decision on McGarry's status as fire chief.
    McGarry was elected to the position by Fire Department members
    and oversees 18 volunteers and six paid firefighters, Majka said.
    ---
    Information from: The News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  5. #5
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    Default A crying shame...

    This is a shame, and a black mark on the face of the Fire Service as a whole. Bay county is the next county South of here, and they have a pretty good setup. I am not very familiar with this FD, but I do know that they are under the county "umbrella" so this Chief falls under their jurisdiction. I also know that they had been trying to seperate from the county, (I believe to get more money for them)....
    -Kris

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    Default

    to your answer im kind of familiar with the Bay County Fire/Rescue. This guy is the Chief of Thomas Drive Volunteer F.D. Well, for right now. The County itself also has a Chief of Fire Emergency Services. Kind of confusing. The County will do there own investigation also and go through there process as well as the police investigation which is standard. I guess they need to know the True Facts before they dismiss this guy as part of Bay County Fire/Rescue. It is sad and does put "a black mark on the face of the Fire Service as a whole." Yea your right about the structure of Bay County. I am sure this Chief will no longer be apart of this organization. The members will not stand for this. The members are good firefighters and they only want whats the best for this department as well as for Bay County. To your question of him being a career firefighter, no he is not. He is the volunteer chief, it makes no difference though. He is or was a part of the fire service. Thats whats so bad.[QUOTE]Sad!!!!!! Sad!!!! Sad!!!!!!
    Last edited by toldyaso71; 06-05-2003 at 04:15 PM.

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    Default

    Yet another example of a story that has nothing to do with FF, but since he is a FF (let alone a Chief ) it makes the fire service look bad. Again, we can be our own worst enemy. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

  8. #8
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    Talking

    Thanks for the info everyone. Toldyaso71, my volunteer/career question was simply to understand the possible political difficulties involved in taking action against him. If he's career, then there are due process rights, etc. If he's volunteer and the membership is on the friends and family plan then it might be harder than expected to boot or suspend him. As you said, it doesn't matter one bit. If guilty (and the story sounds pretty damning), he has disgraced the service.

    Bones is right, somehow we have to make our folks understand that we're NEVER out of the limelight. Any time we're involved in something that is newsworthy, the headline will read "Local Firefighter...". The public correctly holds us to a higher standard, and we've got to live up to it if we want to maintain the public trust.

    By the way toldyaso71 and KParker, would this Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department be on THE Thomas Drive of Club La Vila and MTV fame? That place was as close to paradise as a central Alabama boy could get a few (OK, several) years ago . I would have assumed that area was part of incorporated Panama City or Panama City Beach. Do vollie department cover the entire county regardless of municipal boundaries?

  9. #9
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    Question LOGICALLY SPEAKING

    It would seem to me that in the interest of Public Safety and Public Image, that the Fire Cheif (Administrator) for the County would take steps to temporarily suspend him from the position pending the outcome of the investigation.

    I believe the charge is a felony (???)... Is the Chief and EMT? I know in some states the jurisdiciton having authority (in this case the Florida Department of Health) will revoke your privelidges to practice when you are charged with such a crime.

    Look at public perspective here. Here is a man who is supposed to be helping the public. How many parents would want him administering aid (even as a first responder) to thier children.

    I have been checking the local papers in that area for follow up information, but there is none.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I haven't seen much follow up info. on this either, but yes this is the same Thomas Drive. Their is career FDs there, but I am not really sure why there is vollies as well...toldyaso71- where are you from?

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    Angry

    Just like all careers we have are people who screw up, someday maybe will be able to stop it completely in our career. As far as Panama City Beach and the structure there, I used to live there when I was in the Air Force way back in the early 80's they were all volley. They have been slowly adding paid guys. I had heard about this before it went public from one of my still good friends who is on the SO there.
    GFIRE

  12. #12
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    Post Update -- August 8th

    PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - A former volunteer fire chief was
    sentenced to 40 years in prison for having sex with a 12-year-old
    girl.
    Timothy McGarry, 42, was sentenced Friday. He was convicted by a
    jury in June of three counts of lewd and lascivious battery against
    a minor.
    McGarry was chief of the Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department
    at Panama City Beach when he had sex with the girl, now 14, two
    years ago. Consent is not a defense if the victim is a minor.
    At his trial, the girl testified she had a crush on him, and
    that the relationship turned sexual after McGarry and his wife
    divorced. She said he told her he loved her and promised to marry
    her when she was 18.
    McGarry is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a pretrial
    hearing in the second case. He could face an additional 15-year
    sentence if convicted in that case.
    ---
    Information from: The News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Alan Baird III got, what...75 days for the death of Bradley Golden. This chief gets 40 years for sex with a minor. What is wrong with this picture?
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  13. #13
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    Default

    Alan Baird III got, what...75 days for the death of Bradley Golden. This chief gets 40 years for sex with a minor. What is wrong with this picture?
    Everything, Brother...everything!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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