Report on Liberty fire chief in trustees’ hands


A report on the investigation of Liberty Township Fire Chief Tim Jensen has been completed and will be made available to the public within 48 hours, township officials said Monday.

Township trustees met in a special session Monday morning, and immediately went behind closed doors for an executive session to discuss personnel.

Township officials did not say what the report indicates or the course of action trustees might follow.

“We just officially received the report,” township administrator Matt Huffman said. “We need 24 to 48 hours to actually review it. Perhaps redact any items or names that might be in there. The report will be available within 48 hours.”

“Or as soon as possible,” said Edward Kim, the township’s attorney. “The trustees have just received the report. What they are going to do is review but, also from the township’s standpoint, they want to make sure that, as per the public records law, it’s in a form that should be released under the public records act.”

Township officials said they will post the report on the township’s website.

The Gazette formally requested a copy of the report Monday but was told by Huffman that the report will not be made public until Wednesday.

Jensen’s attorney, Paul Bittner, said Monday that he had been contacted by Kim, notifying him of the completed report and that Kim would be sending him a copy.

Trustees have placed Jensen on paid administrative leave in connection with the investigation into his conduct as chief.

Trustees authorized spending $7,500 for the investigation in March. Last week trustees tabled discussion on spending another $7,500 on the investigation by Cincinnati attorney Doug Duckett.

The position of fire chief is a full-time position in Liberty Township. Jensen has been the fire chief since June 2009 and currently earns an annual salary of $91,000.

In his time as fire chief, he has never been reprimanded, Jensen told The Gazette earlier. “There have been no instances and no references,” he has said.

Jensen has said he is not aware of any criminal investigation that could be conducted against him. He said he wasn’t given any particular reason for the investigation, other than what was listed in the official letter placing him on leave. “It’s a waiting game,” Jensen has said.

Jensen could not be reached for comment Monday.

By D. Anthony Botkin

abotkin@civitasmedia.com

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.