Fire official demoted for blog blunder

An assistant fire chief in Clearcreek Twp. was demoted Tuesday as part of an agreement ending a police investigation prompted by a complaint by the local school board president about someone stealing her identity in an internet blog.

The Clearcreek Twp. trustees voted unanimously to demote Christopher Vecchi from assistant fire chief for a year in a “last chance agreement.” Vecchi agreed to use sick time and paid time off to compensate the township for his pay since being placed on paid leave on Aug. 16.

Vecchi was suspended after Kelly Kohls, president of the Springboro school board, filed a complaint with Clearcreek Twp. police on July 27 that someone had posed as her in an internet blog focused on Springboro school levy issues, according to a police report.

The blog post was made on July 27 in a discussion of the need for a school levy in Springboro. The board recently voted to seek renewal of a reduced levy for operating funds after months of heated community debate. District voters have rejected five consecutive levies for new operating funds.

Vecchi’s initial disciplinary notice stated that he was accused of identity fraud, a fifth degree felony. According to Tuesday’s agreement, township Police Chief John Terrill “has concluded his investigation and no criminal charges will be pursued.”

Vecchi’s paid leave became a suspension through Tuesday’s agreement. He must pass a fitness examination to return to work, according to the agreement.

“Any future misconduct may result in discipline, up to and including his termination,” according to the agreement.

Vecchi, named assistant chief in February 2012, joined the department in 2003.

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