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Indiana deputy fire chief reelected despite losing certifications due to child porn

Sellersburg's John Cline has held position since three years after his 2001 conviction

WAVE-TV image of Deputy Chief John T. Cline

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The past has come back to a haunt the Sellerburg (IN) Volunteer Fire Department and Deputy Chief John T. Cline. Deputy Chief Cline is making news because he was reelected in recent days despite losing his hazmat and fire certifications from the Indiana Board of Fire Certifications and Education in 2016. According to Aprile Rickert of the News and Tribune, Cline lost those certifications when the state board became aware of his 2001 felony convictions for child pornography and child exploitation.

Cline, a member of the department since 1982, has been deputy chief since 2004, three years after he became a convicted felon and registered sex offender. Cline has also been a paid employee of the department.

Aprile Rickert, News and Trubune:

Court records show that Cline was originally arrested on 19 counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of child exploitation, following an investigation that started after an undercover San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department detective discovered Cline’s 1999 online activities.

He entered a plea agreement in 2001 and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with 60 days to be served and the remainder on probation. He was also placed on home incarceration for two years and was registered as a sex offender for 10 years.

Sellersburg Fire Chief Boyce Adams recently told the News and Tribune in a statement that Cline “has been a valuable member and contributor to the department and has faithfully served the community, at his peril, since 1982.” It further states that he has served his time for the crimes, and should not continue to be punished [by the department.]

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