ILION – A complaint filed by a now-former employee of the Ilion Fire Department has lead village officials to initiate a review and investigation into the department, according to a press release from Ilion Mayor Brian Lamica.
“The village is in receipt of a complaint filed by a now former employee of the village, alleging conduct which could subject the Village to legal liability,” Lamica said in the release. “Based upon receipt of the Complaint, the Village has undertaken a comprehensive review and investigation of the operations of the Fire Department.”
As a result of the review and investigation, which began in November 2020, some changes have been made in the operations of the department. The deputy chiefs are currently in charge of the department.
“The safety of Village residents is of paramount importance to the Village Board,” Lamica assured. “Changes have been made to the command structure of the department with the goal of maintaining service and timely responses to calls.”
Up until these changes were made, the department was run by Tom Pedersen, who was appointed chief in 2019 after working his way up through the ranks throughout a 24-year career with the Ilion Fire Department. Pedersen also served as the village codes officer. A restructuring plan is in place to address that position, Lamica said.
“The Village Board has a responsibility to take action when presented with information which may subject the village to legal liability,” the mayor said in the press release. “While some individuals may prefer that the status quo in the fire department be maintained, the board would not be fulfilling its responsibility by doing so. To the contrary, the village board is united in its position that a comprehensive review and investigation of the operation of the fire department is required. Such an inquiry by the board is necessary to protect the Village from potential legal liability and ensure its compliance with applicable law, rule and regulation.”
Lamica declined to comment further due to the ongoing investigation and the fact it involves village personnel.