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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

[FL] Fire Chief Nesmith's wife fears for her life - No reason to investigate him?

...[County Administrator] Bean said Hillsborough County won't look into the incident because it isn't directly connected to county business. Hillsborough provides counseling services for employees who need help, and Nesmith might use those services, Bean said. "I have the belief that he is a strong person and he can deal with this"...

Hillsborough fire chief arrested in assault threat
His wife says he threatened to shoot her and himself, the domestic-violence report says.

St. Petersburg Times
Kevin Graham
March 4, 2008
The fire-rescue chief of Hillsborough County has been arrested after he threatened to shoot his wife and himself, according to Pinellas County authorities. Bill Nesmith, 59, denied making the threat but was arrested on an aggravated domestic assault charge... A deputy responded to Nesmith's home Saturday about 9:50 p.m. on a domestic violence call, according to an arrest report. The report said Nesmith assaulted his wife with a "deadly weapon"... The report said Nesmith's wife feared for her life and left home, thinking her husband would follow through on his threat. She didn't know whether the guns were in the house, but she assumed he was going to get a gun when he went into the couple's bedroom, the report said... Nesmith has not been placed on leave, [Hillsborough Fire Rescue Capt. Bruce] Delk said. "He was charged with aggravated assault domestic. He wasn't convicted," Delk said. "If that occurs, then we'll deal with whatever happens. Our policy has been, in the past, that people work as normal until they're convicted of something"... Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita said Nesmith should be placed on administrative leave. "Regardless of whether he's guilty or not, it's a serious charge," she said... Nesmith is the current past president of the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association, and he has served as an instructor for basic firefighter certification and management-level courses through Hillsborough Community College. [Full article here]
Fire Chief accused of violating county weapons policy
Mike Deeson, Tampa Bay's 10 News
March 4, 2008
...Pinellas Sheriff's records show on February 25th at 9:30, deputies were called to the home to settle a domestic disturbance. That one didn't make the news; this one has temporarily cost him his job... Hillsborough Commissioner Rose Ferlita says County Administrator Pat Bean shouldn't have waited until Monday to put Nesmith on administrative leave. She says Nesmith should have been put on leave automatically. But Bean says she acted in a timely manner and doesn't plan an internal investigation. "Unless we found it is connected to county business, I don't why we'd do an internal investigation," Bean says. However, 10 News has learned Nesmith has apparently violated the policy that states "...possession of a weapon and/or firearm by employees is prohibited. The policy includes a vehicle..." One of the weapons the Sheriff's Office confiscated was in Nesmith's county car... [Full article here]

Fire Chief Takes Paid Leave After Arrest
The Tampa Tribune
By JOSH POLTILOVE
Published: Mar 4, 2008
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Bill Nesmith, who was arrested Saturday night on an aggravated assault charge, is being placed on paid leave by the county. County Administrator Pat Bean said in a news conference Monday that Nesmith has about 12 weeks of accrued leave. She said she does not know how much time Nesmith will need to sort through personal issues. "Today he has to be very distracted and very upset, and he needs time to deal with that," she said... He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Sunday night after posting $5,000 bail... Bean said Hillsborough County won't look into the incident because it isn't directly connected to county business. Hillsborough provides counseling services for employees who need help, and Nesmith might use those services, Bean said. "I have the belief that he is a strong person and he can deal with this," she said... Deputies responding to the home spoke to Nesmith by phone and had him come outside, Pinellas sheriff's Sgt. Jim Bordner said. Deputies recovered two handguns, a revolver and a semiautomatic, from vehicles. Alcohol contributed to the incident... [Full article here]

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