Disciplinary hearing for three firefighters to continue Wednesday

WESTFIELD- The hearing for the three firefighters being accused of tarnishing the name of a superior officer will continue at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 at City Hall in what is likely to be a closed session. 

Fire Captain Rebecca Boutin and Firefighters Kyle Miltimore and David Kennedy will go back before the Fire Commission after a four hour closed hearing Dec. 10 did not yield any sort of result. The firefighters and their attorneys had requested that the executive session hearing remain closed last Tuesday. 

They had waived the executive session for another hearing at Little River Fire Station late last month in which the firefighters went into greater detail about the case itself and their accusations against Fire Chief Patrick Egloff. 

Fire Commission Chair Albert Masciadrelli said that he is uncertain if the issue will be resolved at Wednesday’s hearing or if it will have to continue again. He was not permitted to give much detail about what was said during the closed hearing, but he noted that a lot of information was presented that the commission had not previously heard. 

“There was a lot of information coming forth. This is really the first time this commission got the in-depth details about the situation,” said Masciadrelli, “By continuing the hearing it gives us a chance to sit back and process everything we have heard.”

Masciadrelli had maintained up until this point that the commission had been largely shielded from the facts of the case itself. 

Masciadrelli noted that if the firefighters wished to have the hearing be made open to the public, they would have had to have sent a letter requesting so ahead of time. As of Friday, the Fire Commission had received no such letter. They had not received a letter ahead of the first part of the hearing either. 

“In terms of the way we expected to go, we thought it would be better for it to remain closed,” said Attorney Maurice Cahillane, who has been the legal counsel for the three firefighters in this case.

The hearing is specifically in relation to an investigation that took place between April 2 and June 5 of 2018. The hearing follows a recommendation of termination of the three firefighters sent to each Fire Commission on Nov. 18 by Deputy Chief Andy Hart. In the open session hearing on Nov. 25, the firefighters and their attorneys claimed that they had not been made aware of the letter until that moment. 

During that same hearing, Boutin read out a statement on behalf of all three of the firefighters, which can be read in the Nov. 26 edition of The Westfield News. 

 Egloff has not commented on the matter, saying that, “the City does not comment on pending personnel matters.”

In a past Fire Commission meeting in March where the two of the three firefighters were present, they claimed that they had been the victims of harassment by some of their fellow firefighters in the department. Boutin and Miltimore specifically detailed an incident in which they discovered pictures of themselves in the fire department’s common area that had been altered to depict them as decapitated.

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