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While looking into whether there are Pennsylvania regulations that would prevent those with serious criminal records from being a volunteer firefighter (there are none), WJAC-TV reporter Erika Stanish discovered another firefighter who’s a registered sex offender. This comes after the chief of the Spartansburg (PA) Volunteer Fire Department resigned when the news about him being a convicted child rapist went viral.
Like the Spartansburg chief, the firefighter with the Spangler Volunteer Fire Company in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania is listed on the Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law website. Reporter Stanish says the firefighter, who she isn’t naming, rejoined the department after serving a jail sentence.
The firefighter is a former police officer. He was arrested in 2003 for dropping an 18-year-old woman’s drug charges in exchange for sex. He received a reduced sentence after a guilty plea that included an agreement that he not work again as a police officer.
As for being a firefighter, that’s a different story. Spangler Fire Chief Paul Demi says he believes in giving people a second chance and that the firefighter is one of his best members. Demi confirms there are some limitations on what the firefighter can do, including the Megan’s Law requirement that he not work with anyone under 18.
The member registered on the Megan’s law website only drives the fire truck and pumps the water while out on a call, Demi said.
“He stays away from any patients,” said Demi.
The law prohibits volunteers with Megan’s Law violations from working with, supervising or overseeing the care of children, unless a background checked person is there and supervising.
Demi said Spangler Fire Co. has a junior and explorer program, but said the registered Megan’s Law member does not work with them.
“Someone is always there overseeing what’s happening at the station,” said Demi.