Beavercreek Twp. terminates longtime firefighter after OVI citation

A longtime Beavercreek Twp. firefighter has been fired from his lieutenant position after an off-duty OVI incident in June.

Matt Clark, 43, was cited by Springboro Police for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol on the evening of June 20, according to an investigation by the Beavercreek Twp. Fire Department. Clark refused a field sobriety test and was charged with OVI.

Clark notified the department the next morning, pleaded guilty to and was convicted of reckless operation, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, in the Springboro Mayor’s Court on July 6. Clark had his license suspended for six months with privileges to drive to, from, and during work, and was required to attend a state of Ohio 72-hour driver intervention program.

Trustees formally terminated Clark’s employment during a hearing Monday night, after an investigation into the incident. Clark was found in violation of several township policies, including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, providing false information to a supervisor during the investigation, and failing to hold a valid driver’s license.

“We don’t take this lightly,” Trustee Tom Kretz said Monday.

Clark started as a firefighter with Beavercreek Twp. in May 2000, becoming a full-time firefighter in 2003. He was firefighter of the year in 2013 and promoted to lieutenant in 2016.

Clark told trustees during the hearing that he had made a “shameful mistake,” but that he did not believe that his time with the township was over.

Clark’s attorney, Jessup Gage, said they will be working with the firefighters’ union to consider next steps, if any.

“I think (the township) missed an opportunity to retain a good employee who’s been here for a long time and provided a great service to the township,” he said.

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