N.Y. Village Suspends Chief for Responding after Drinking Beer

Elbridge Fire Chief Bill Champlin was suspended by village officials for responding on a call within eight hours of drinking a beer.

Now, at least five firefighters have or say they're going to quit, and that worries the village supervisor, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

The village owns the equipment and fire house, and the elected officials sit as the fire commissioners. 

Champlin admitted that he had a beer with family and then several hours later stopped at the fire house to speak with firefighters, Niel Rivenburgh who had been a captain in the department until his resignation Monday, told reporters.

While he was there, an emergency call to aid a bicyclist struck by a vehicle on Route 5 came in and the chief responded, the paper reported.

"That's the infraction. Responding to a call four or five hours after dinner and a beer. What's happened since then is the travesty. How he got accused of it is a travesty. What's going on now is a travesty," he told reporters.

A review panel ruled that Champlin can return but not as chief. He can run for the position again in the next election in April 2014.