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Mad River Twp. seeks to replace ousted fire chief

Mad River Twp. has started its search for a new fire chief after it fired its chief last month, saying that he failed to follow trustees’ directives and Ohio Administrative Code.

According to a job posting submitted to the Springfield News-Sun last week, the township is seeking a fire chief who’s certified as a firefighter and EMT by the state of Ohio and has five or more years experience or equivalent in those roles.

The job posting was released about five weeks after trustees unanimously ousted David Leist from his post as fire chief during a public hearing that he and his attorney requested.

Leist was found guilty of four of six formal charges brought forth by a Cincinnati labor attorney who was hired by the township to investigate him.

Prior to his firing, Leist filed a civil lawsuit alleging defamation by the trustees, the township and the fire department in connection with an earlier, informal investigation by another Clark County township’s fire chief.

The Springfield News-Sun inspected court documents related to the lawsuit on Wednesday and found no new information.

During the first investigation, trustees placed Leist on a period of paid administrative leave and then unpaid suspension while it looked into the allegations, but they later reinstated him fully with back pay.

Trustees acknowledged at that time they didn’t have the specific charges needed to hold a disciplinary hearing, per the Ohio Revised Code.

The new chief’s salary will remain the same as Leist’s at $9,700, according to the job posting.

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