Update on complaint against BLR Fire Chief

Brudenell Lyndoch Raglan (BLR) Township Council held a special meeting on Friday morning, November 1, to consider the result of an investigation into allegations against its Fire Chief, Jordan Genrick.

Genrick was accused of several instances of misconduct, including three alcohol related allegations, as well as an alleged personal grudge which translated into inflated fines for a fire ban infraction by a local resident.

The Ontario Fire Marshal requested an investigation into the allegations, which BLR asked Renfrew County Human Resources Director Bruce Beakley to conduct. Beakley conducted his investigation over a week and reported to BLR Council at a closed-door meeting last Wednesday evening. In response, Council called a Special Meeting for Friday morning when it considered Beakley’s report, also behind closed doors. When returning to open session, Council passed these two resolutions:

1. THAT we the Council for the Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan hereby request that the OFMEM conduct a review of Fire Protection Services in Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan Township.

AND FURTHER that the OFMEM provide a seminar to staff and elected officials on the ‘Essentials of Municipal Fire Protection: A Decision Maker’s Guide’.

  1. THAT we the Council for the Township of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan hereby reduce the service charge for burning during a total fire ban on August 16, 2019 at 2499 Schutt Road to $ 365.00.

The Current has learned that Genrick (who had continued working as BLR’s part-time Facilities Manager) resumed his duties as Fire Chief last Friday after being on paid leave from the Fire Department since the allegations surfaced. Genrick has not returned calls from The Current to ask whether he was exonerated from all wrongdoing, including all of the alcohol-related allegations. The resolution indicates that he will be part of the group who will be trained by the OFMEM.

Beakley’s investigation notes have not been released at the time of this writing. Last week’s emergency council meeting was held in camera and is confidential.

Original complainant, Mike McCloskey, who used to be a volunteer firefighter, had the following to say when asked for comment:

“I think these resolutions confirm that there were serious substantive issues raised in the complaint. (Click HERE to read McCloskey’s complaint.) I also think that if the Fire Chief had been completely exonerated by the outside investigator, Council should have said so. The fact they didn’t I think speaks volumes.”

When asked by The Current for comment, Mayor Sheldon Keller reiterated the two resolutions and said:

“As you know a third party conducted an investigation of allegations against the fire chief. Council reviewed the report in closed session and has addressed the issues. Ontario Fire Marshals and Emergency Management will be contacted to conduct a review of the fire protection services in 
BLR township and provide training for council and staff.”

The Current tried to contact the mayor to follow up on the reinstatement of Chief Genrick but he declined to comment further.

Only one councillor, Andrea Budarick, declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the meeting as her son, Gary, was the subject of the now-reduced fine for having a fire during the fire ban. All other councillors, including Councillor John Rutledge who was part of the fire crew who responded to the incident in question, attended the in camera session.

 

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected because the first version  published referred to four alcohol-related complaints. The Current apologizes for the error. 

Photo facebook/Jordan Genrick

 

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