New York State Deputy Fire Chief Put on Leave; Accused Of Assault

Edward Marquette, the Schenectady deputy fire chief accused Sunday of throwing his girlfriend against a tree and spraying sunscreen into her eyes, was placed on paid leave just before the start of his 24-hour shift Tuesday, Chief Robert Farstad said.

"I put him on administrative leave at the direction of the mayor," said Farstad, and he will remain off-duty "until further notice."

Glenville police charged the 54-year-old firefighter with misdemeanor assault and unlawful imprisonment after responding to a call Sunday afternoon about a distraught woman in front of the Scotia-Glenville High School. The woman, who police said is Marquette's girlfriend, accused him of trying to restrain her inside his truck and putting sunscreen in her eyes. When she fled, Marquette threw her against a tree and stepped on her wrist, police said.

It is the second time in two years that Marquette has been arrested in connection with a domestic disturbance. On Dec. 23, 2002, Schenectady police charged him with assault and harassment at a Lennox Road home, according to City Court records.

Marquette was accused of throwing a woman to the floor and punching a man. He pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, a violation, on Jan. 3, 2003, and was given a one-year conditional discharge, court officials said.

Farstad acknowledged he was aware of that case but declined to say whether Marquette was disciplined by the city, citing confidentiality rules that forbid disclosure of punishment meted out to city workers.

Farstad also would not say whether he plans to file departmental charges this time.