SWITZERLAND CO., IN (FOX19) - Days after airing a report on the resignation of Switzerland County Emergency Management Director Chris See, FOX19 has new information about why See left his job. A county commissioner provided See's reason through a Facebook posting.
See's reason for resigning: "personal reasons," according to Switzerland County Commissioner Josh South's Facebook page. South issued the statement Saturday in a thread on his personal page.
South wrote to FOX19, "I was contacted by President of the Commissioner's [sic], Steve Lyons, stating he was contacted by Chris See by phone in which he resigned due to personal reasons."
South is the only one of the three commissioners to respond to FOX19 inquiries as to why See resigned on July 28. We left a message Thursday afternoon on the only public phone number posted on the county's commissioners' site.
In the weeks following a FOX19 investigation into allegations of faked fire and medical certifications in Switzerland County, See resigned. We aired multiple reports into the allegations in July, which prompted a state investigation inside the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
See resigned as EMA director on July 28, according to county commission assistant, Bruce Williams. Williams told FOX19 that See resigned "orally" to "one of the commissioners," but Williams would not provide any more information concerning the resignation.
When asked specifically about providing more details, Williams replied, "no."
In early July, we aired an investigative series into allegations that See, who also serves as the Jeff Craig Volunteer Fire Chief in Vevay, "pencil whipped" fire and medical certifications for dozens of fire fighters in the county.
FOX19 also obtained copies of dozens of CPR training certifications that multiple people named on the training records said they never attended classes for. Those people said See never instructed the December 2013 classes noted on the certification cards.
On July 31, three days after See's resignation, FOX19 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the county for his employee file. The county's attorney issued a denial letter, claiming the state's open records law prohibited the county from turning
See's records over.
FOX19 sought legal counsel on the county's determination and was advised the county had the "discretion" to make the records available. The county, through a letter from hired-attorney Wilmer Goering, has indicated the county has no obligation to turn the records
We've asked Goering to reconsider opening See's file based on the interpretation we received that the county has the option to open the See file for public inspection. As of this posting, Goering has not responded to that follow up request.
Without the file and the county's willingness to disclose the reasons why See resigned, we have no facts as to why See resigned and the reason remains a secret.
When contacted by phone and email last Thursday, See responded, "Please stop contacting me via email and cell phone." See did not issue any response detailing his decision to quit his county job.
Our sources confirmed See met with IDHS investigators Friday in Indianapolis. That interview, our sources confirmed, was with the man heading up the state investigation for the state fire marshal.
We do not know the substance of that interview or where the investigation stands.