By Amelia Robinson
Dayton Daily News
XENIA Twp., Ohio — Xenia Twp.'s fire chief is being investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission on allegations he illegally sent township firefighters to train in a program where he taught, documents obtained by the Dayton Daily News reveal.
The commission will interview Chief Daryl Meyers about accusations that he may have violated Ohio ethics laws concerning public contract restrictions and supplemental compensation, according to an April 13 letter from the commission acquired Friday after an open records request to the township.
Meyers gave the letter to the Board of Trustees during its meeting Thursday.
He also submitted a letter asking trustees to authorize legal counsel for him through the Greene County Prosecutor's Office.
Meyers was at a conference in Indiana Friday and didn't return a call seeking comment.
According to audio from the township trustees' meeting, the accusation relates to Meyers' work in Sinclair Community College's Fire Sciences Department while also serving as chief.
Reached by phone Friday, Trustee Jim Reed said many have questioned Meyers' relationship with the college while chief.
He was "sending his (firefighters) to train where he teaches. Basically it is job security," Reed said. "There was so many people upset with what was going on there."
The Ohio Ethics Commission didn't return a call seeking comment.
On the audio tape, Meyers said there has only been one township firefighter sent to Sinclair for training since he's been chief.
In the two years he's been trustee, Reed said his board has approved Sinclair firefighter training at least 20 times at prices ranging from $500 to $800.
The department has about 60 part-time firefighters and a $1.1 million budget.
Meyers denied any wrong-doing during the meeting.
He said trustees knew he worked for the college when he was hired.
"Unfortunately whomever it is out there decided that they just didn't like that I didn't teach here in the township or wherever it was and thought there was some financial gain or something to it, " Myers said.
He began working at the college in 1998 as an auxiliary instructor and became an adjunct professor in the EMS department in 2004, a college spokesman said. He has not worked there since Spring 2011.
Meyers asked for legal counsel through the township, but trustees said they didn't think defending the misconduct allegations was the township's responsibility.
They suggested he contact the prosecutor's office directly for more information.
"It is the opinion of Assistant Greene County Prosecutor, Stephanie Hayden, as well as the majority of the trustees that if this is the sole reason for the investigation, it is a personal matter and not related to his official duties as the fire chief.
The prosecutor's services will be available regarding official Township actions, not the actions of employees off-site, off-duty," a press release from the township said.
Copyright 2012 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.