The Lake Township trustees have accepted the resignations of Fire Chief Todd Walters and two members of the volunteer fire department, Richard Hallock and Michelle Hallock, firefighter/emergency medical technicians, for reportedly violating township regulations, according to a statement by the board of trustees issued during a special meeting Thursday.
The Hallocks, who are married, and Walters attended the wedding Feb. 16 of Steve Sims, also a member of the fire department.
“At the reception, they became concerned about the level of intoxication” of Scott Sims, Steve’s brother and a sergeant with the township police department, the statement says.
“They determined that the Hallocks would drive Sergeant Sims to his home outside the township. The two determined to treat him and obtained two bags of saline solution from Lake Township Fire Station 2 and administered these to Sergeant Sims at his home,” the statement says.
Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, said their actions are “in violation of Lake Township regulations and standards of care. The fire chief was at the wedding reception and this happened on his watch.”
Trustee Ron Sims and Walters didn’t attend the meeting. Bowen and trustee Richard Welling approved a resolution appointing Deputy Fire Chief Mike Hornyak as acting chief. Hornyak was present, sitting in the seat usually occupied by Walters during regular meetings of the trustees. Steve Sims and Scott Sims are sons of Ron Sims.
Police Chief Mark Hummer is investigating whether Sgt. Sims violated department standards, according to the statement. He said he couldn’t comment further due to disciplinary rules in the police union’s contract.
“These are good people and we thank them for their work in all the fires they fought and emergency runs they made,” Bowen read from the statement. She said their efforts during the June 2010 tornado that hit the township should be remembered and called their actions at the reception a “poor decision.”
“As a result they each determined to resign for the good of the fire department and our township,” she said.
Welling said the three “did the right thing here in immediately accepting accountability under our high standards and as role models in the community.”
“Things like this are hard because we all make bad decisions,” he said.
Welling and Bowen, accompanied by Tom Hays, township legal counsel, Hornyak, and Hummer went into executive session for about 17 minutes before reconvening the meeting and announcing the resignations.
Bowen said the session was called to discuss issues “pertinent to fire and police department personnel.”
A notice of the special meeting also mentions pending litigation. After the meeting, Bowen said she couldn’t comment on possible litigation.
“We don’t know yet,” she said.