Ohio Chief Faces Misconduct Allegations

CLEARCREEK TOWNSHIP, Ohio --

A local fire chief is facing allegations of verbal and physical misconduct after several workers came forward to complain.

Officials said Bernie Becker, the fire chief at the Clearcreek Township Firehouse, has been accused of numerous "indecencies."

"In the past, I did see a couple of incidences, yes," said Steven Mousa, a former firefighter who said he's not surprised by the new allegations.

He said many of the complaints have been investigated, and that Becker also faced punishment for inappropriate behavior in 2001.

Becker's wife didn't have much to say when questioned by WLWT reporters. Others, however, said complaints from women in the township were mainly verbal, while alleged offenses against male firefighters included improper touching.

The township's union representative, Josh Scott, said a formal complaint has been issued.

"There's been a class-action complaint against Chief Becker on behalf of the fire district employees," said Scott.

He said it was submitted last Monday to assistant township administrator Ron Wilhelm.

"Last Friday he met with Chief Becker and served him with the allegation. We requested a formal investigation into the allegations. I've heard nothing back as to if or when an investigation would happen," said Scott.

Becker is on vacation this week, but according to the administration secretary, he will return to the firehouse next Monday.

The administration said the case has been handed over to lawyers and is now in the hands of township labor attorneys.

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