Management expert: Fairfield Twp. Fire Chief lacks leadership skills

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Tuesday was another day of testimony in the disciplinary hearing against Fairfield Township Fire Chief Dave Downie.

Downie has been the fire chief for 25 years, but now faces five charges relating to what's being called inappropriate communication with other township employees.

There was a lot of support for Chief Downie at the hearing as members of the community and Downie's friends wore T-shirts saying "I support Dave Downie".

Downie was placed on paid administrative leave in late January for allegedly making inappropriate comments to the township's fiscal officer, in which he raised his voice and told the fiscal officer he didn't have "time to babysit those responsible for equipment purchases."

Downie is also charged with conducting demeaning communication with the township's service director, failing to properly supervise staff members and failing to attend a mandatory meeting.

On Tuesday, a business management expert whose reviewed the case, presented her findings.

"In this case we are seeing a behavior pattern of lack of leader ship skills that are critical for this type of organization to be successful," said Diane Alexander.

However many Fairfield Twp. residents believe this hearing is a waste of taxpayer money.

"What should have been a 10-minute reprimand or a personnel meeting to resolve this issue has now blown into what I think is an embarrassment for this township," said Mike Hamilton.

Downie's future is in the hands of the township trustees and he could be terminated.

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