Tri-State fire chief on administrative leave amid investigation
MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - The fire chief of this western Hamilton County community along the Great Miami River is on paid leave amid an investigation, township officials confirm to FOX19 NOW.
Miami Township Fire Chief Brien Lacey was put on leave Friday, according to a two-line news release.
“On 3/10/2023, Miami Township, Hamilton County placed Fire Chief Brien Lacey on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. There will be no further comment from the township at this time,” the release states.
Township officials are not saying what prompted the investigation, if it’s administrative or criminal, who or which agency is conducting it, and when it began.
FOX19 NOW has requests for comment into Lacey, 57, as well as the township trustees.
We will update this story once we hear back.
Lacey was promoted to fire chief in December 2020 after serving as the acting chief when the former one retired, according to Miami Township Fire & EMS Facebook page.
Lacey also was named assistant fire chief in December 2019.
His wife, Shelly Lacey, was promoted to lieutenant at the fire department, according to a Jan. 20, 2021 post on the same Facebook page.
Assistant Fire Chief Robert Street is now the acting fire chief, he confirmed to us Monday.
He referred us to the township administrator for all other questions.
Chief Lacey is the second member of the fire department to be put on paid administrative suspension in the past five months, township records show.
A review of trustee meeting minutes on the township’s website shows its three elected trustees met behind closed doors in “Executive Session for Personnel” on Oct.19, 2022.
When they emerged, they unanimously voted to approve a motion placing Lt. Scott Hinson on “paid administrative suspension.”
Further details on Hinson’s suspension were not immediately available.
FOX19 NOW has requested multiple public records from the township since Monday including their documentation to justify suspending the chief and now Hinson as well as Hinson’s current employment status.
The Miami Township Fire Department has combined full-time and part-time paid firefighters at three stations, according to its website.
The department serves the nearly 16,000 residents in Miami Township, according to the 2020 Census, and also provides fire and EMS services under contract for the villages of North Bend, Cleves, and Addyston.
The agency has multiple boats for water rescue and marine fires and staffs a technical rescue trailer for Hazmat, Confined Space Rescue and Rope Rescue responses, the website states.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it and include the headline of the story in your email.
Do you have a photo or video of a breaking news story? Send it to us here with a brief description.
Copyright 2023 WXIX. All rights reserved.