From WPSD TV in Paducah, KY:

Link to story is here.

Kentucky: Fire Chief Speaks Out About Sick Day Abuse

John Knicely,
NewsChannel 6

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Paducah Fire Chief Redell Benton received an official document Tuesday confirming what NewsChannel 6 broke to you last Friday. Fire Captain Jeff Beach was caught boating on a sick day for the second time in less than a year.

A February 15th Kentucky Lake accident report names Jeff Beach as the boat driver. He was off sick that day. Last summer Beach served a 60 day suspension after he was caught winning a fishing tournament on another sick day.

"We gave him stiff punishment then," Chief Benton said. "I thought he'd come back and make a good employee. I'm really disappointed."

The Paducah City Commission Tuesday night confirmed that Beach is on the hot seat.

"I can't believe it's happened again and we'll let the process work," said Mayor Bill Paxton.

Commissioner Robert Coleman doesn't believe the incidents show a problem with the Paducah Fire Department.

"I was totally surprised. I didn't expect anything like this. I think in this issue it's not any deeper. It's an individual issue," Coleman said.

The commission will revue the case and then hold a formal hearing in the next 2 weeks to determine Beach's punishment. Until then Beach will remain suspended without pay.

Chief Benton said he will recommend a harsher punishment this time.