A registered sexual offender who was suspended from duty as a member of the Havana division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire Department has been allowed to return to the fire department, county commissioners were told Monday.
Mark McCleary, rural fire district coordinator, told county commissioners on Monday that he suspended the registered offender after learning of the firefighter’s violations several months ago. However, McCleary said the rural fire district’s governing body discussed the suspension at a recent meeting in Dearing. After conferring about the matter in executive session, which is closed to the public and press, the board unanimously agreed to reinstate the sexual offender at the discretion of the Havana division chief. The offender will work as a dispatcher and will not be dealing with the public, he said.
“I know you (the commission) want me to work closely with the rural fire board, but that’s the decision that was made,” McCleary said.
When the sexual offender’s violation came to light two months ago, McCleary told commissioners that he was unaware of the firefighter’s sexual offense because the the firefighter was hired prior to McCleary’s term as rural fire coordinator. McCleary said previously that the Havana division allowed the firefighter to remain on the station roster despite knowing of the sexual offense.