This news organization spoke with four parents who asked not be identified but confirmed the discussions took place. They did share a text message they received from the department.
“If the kids are coming to the firehouse for cadets please have at least 1 parent speak to either Nick Thonton or Mike Gardone,” the message says. “This is very important.”
“So the fire chief said if there’s any way anyone can come down at any point tonight will be here.” the text message reads.
Schaefer resigned in the middle of an internal investigation at Bethel Twp. in 2017 when female co-workers accused him of sexual misconduct, public records show.
MORE: Mad River Twp. Fire/EMS employee files complaint, others resign
A previous sheriff’s report indicates Schaefer was accused of tricking a 17-year-old Mad River Cadet into having sex with him in 2011. The report says the two met because of her participation in cadet program, however, notes that Schaefer was not with the Mad River Twp. department at the time of the incident.
An investigation into the case found no criminal activity took place, according to the sheriff’s office.
Schaefer did not have contact with cadets in their present-day program, department leadership said.