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West Liberty search warrant underway at suspected shooter's house

New fire chief picked

Tracy Young will fill vacancy left by firing of David Leist, who has appealed the ruling.

The chief of the New Carlisle Fire Division and deputy chief of the Wright-Patterson AFB Fire Emergency Services has accepted a position as chief of Mad River Twp.- Enon Fire Department.

Meanwhile, the former fire chief has appealed his termination in Clark County Common Pleas Court.

Tracy Young accepted the position left vacant by the termination of former Fire Chief David Leist, who was fired following a public hearing in May on several charges, including gross neglect of duty and other allegations.

Leist also continues his defamation lawsuit against the township, the fire department and the trustees in Common Pleas Court.

Young, according to application materials obtained by the Springfield News-Sun through a public records request, has served as a professional firefighter for more than 20 years with 10 years as a fire officer.

He’s also served locally in the past as assistant fire chief for the Bethel Twp. Fire Department.

Young’s hire is pending a background investigation and approval by township trustees, likely at their Aug. 19 meeting, Trustees President Bob McClure Jr. said.

“We’re very excited someone with his background and experience and qualifications applied for the position, and we’re certainly looking forward to working with him in the future,” McClure said.

Deputy Chief Elmer Beard, who served as acting fire chief during the vacancy, will remain deputy chief, according to McClure.

If approved by the trustees, Young will start his new position Sept. 1 and remain chief and fire administrator of the New Carlisle Fire Department until Sept. 8.

Administration of the New Carlisle department will be handled in the interim by assistant fire and EMS chiefs while a search and hiring process is conducted, he said.

City Manager Kim Jones said advertisements seeking applications will be placed soon, and she hopes to have a permanent chief installed before Young leaves his post.

Young said he’s excited about joining the department and has a vested interest in the community. He and his wife Lisa moved to the Mad River Twp. in January with their two girls, 14, and 10.

Young was among five finalists: Beard; John Heath, a lieutenant with the city of Fairborn Fire Department; Marc T. Wendling, communications officer with the Mad River Twp.-Enon Fire Department; Stephen Langstaff, assistant cache manager for Miami Valley Fire & EMS Alliance/Ohio Task Force 1 and firefighter and past lieutenant with Hustead Volunteer Fire Department.

Leist’s appeal was the result of his termination following a public hearing in which trustees heard evidence and ultimately terminated his employment.

The appeal alleges conflict of interest by the trustees because they’re named in the pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks damages for alleged defamation during a previous investigation and suspension against him that the trustees later reversed.

“This hearing was conducted during which time a civil action was (and still is) pending against the board of trustees and the specific individuals on that board in Clark County Common Pleas Court,” the appeal says. “The very people listed as defendants in the filed civil case were to sit in judgment of … Leist’s actions.”

“Furthermore, although … Leist was prepared to examine his accusers, namely the members of the board as part of his defense, he was never given that chance. This can be deemed a further violation of due process,” it says.

The appeal requests a review of the hearing record, denies the finding of the trustees, and seeks sanctions against trustees for lost wages and attorney fees, plus judgment against the trustees for “improper administration of their elected duties.”

McClure declined to comment on the appeal and case. A call the Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Pickering, the township’s legal counsel on the appeal, was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

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