WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state Civil Service Commission decided on Friday to overturn the termination of two Westfield firefighter’s and modify the discipline of a captain who made sexual assault harassment allegations against a then deputy chief who now serves as chief of the department.
In addition to changing the discipline for Captain Rebecca Boutin and vacating the termination of firefighters David Kennedy and Kyle Miltimore, the commission ordered an independent investigation into sexual assault harassment allegations made by women against now-Chief Patrick Egloff.
The decision came following a seven-day hearing and sworn testimonies of 17 witnesses.
The three firefighters were fired back in December 2019 by the Westfield Fire Commission, following an independent report conducted by Attorney Dawn McDonald into the sexual harassment allegations.
McDonald’s report also recommended that Egloff should not be promoted to the chief for other reasons. Boutin, Kennedy, and Miltimore filed an appeal with the Civil Service Commission in December 2019, days after McDonald’s report came out.
In its report, the commission concluded the following on Friday:
- The investigative report is riddled with examples of unsubstantiated “beliefs” instead of establishing “facts” along with inappropriate disparaging personality assessments which show that the investigation was tainted with bias and personal animus against the Appellants that discredit the conclusions of the investigator as they relate to the Appellants;
- A fair and impartial review of the facts, together with the totality of the credible
evidence, exonerate the Appellants of any wrongdoing, with the exception of one charge
against the Fire Captain for making a false and damaging statement regarding the then-deputy Fire Chief, which warrants a thirty-day suspension;
- Undisputed acts of misconduct, along with allegations of other serious misconduct by the
then-Deputy Fire Chief, have been largely ignored, glossed over or sanctioned by the
Westfield Fire Commissioners, who voted to promote the Deputy Fire Chief to Fire Chief
shortly after the termination of the Appellants, reinforcing the appropriateness of
modifying the penalty of the Fire Captain and warranting the initiation of an investigation
under Section 72 of the civil service law.
This is developing breaking news. 22News will continue coverage and bring you the latest when we learn more.