WESTFIELD- The Fire Commission Dec. 18 voted to terminate the three firefighters who accused Fire Chief Patrick Egloff of sexual assault, according to their lawyer Maurice M. Cahillane of the law firm Egan, Flanagan, and Cohen.
Fire Capt. Rebecca Boutin, as well as firefighters Kyle Miltimore and David Kennedy, were fired in a 3-0 vote by Fire Commissioners Albert Masciadrelli, Jeffrey Seigel, and C. Lee Bennett during the disciplinary hearing that began on Dec. 11 and was continued to Dec. 18. They were accused of falsely tarnishing the name of a superior officer.
The hearing was specifically in relation to an investigation that took place between April 2 and June 5 of 2018. The hearing followed a recommendation of termination of the three firefighters sent to each Fire Commissioner 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.
Following the hearing, Cahillane released the following statement on behalf of his three clients:
“The action today of the Westfield Fire Commission terminating Captain Rebecca Boutin and Firefighters Kyle Miltimore and David Kennedy is sad and unfortunate. The Commission made ‘findings’ directly at odds with the competent evidence presented to them.
“After the statements made this morning by the Commissioners, there is no doubt that they have chosen to retaliate against these three employees because they truthfully answered questions posed to them by the state police and because they engaged in protected concerted activity to expose misbehavior on the part of a supervisor.
“Worse still, the Commissioners chose to turn the evidence on its head and accuse these employees of ‘fabrications’ when the evidence, (including an admission of sexual assault) overwhelmingly supported their assertions. Captain Rebecca Boutin and Firefighters David Kennedy and Kyle Miltimore will appeal these decisions.”
Fire Commission Chair Albert Masciadrelli declined to comment on the commission’s decision. City Personnel Director Dennis Miles said that city officials can’t comment on personnel matters.
In March of this year, the Fire Commission was fined the maximum $1,000 by Hampden Superior Court Judge for an open meeting law violation relating to this case. In August of 2018, when the commission consisted of Masciadrelli, Patrick Olearcek, and Carlo Bonavito, they held an executive session for the purpose of “discussing strategy with respect to litigation related to alleged misconduct.”
The fine from Sweeney was handed down because the plaintiff-employees nor their counsel were given notice to be present while their reputations, characters, and mental health were being discussed. Masciadrelli, as quoted in Sweeney’s decision, testified that he was aware that the firefighters or their representing attorneys would have the right to be present. He also testified that he was not aware that they were even to be discussing the characters, reputation, and mental health of the firefighters.
The commission during that meeting in August 2018 took the action to terminate the employee-plaintiffs, a decision which was nullified in Superior Court.