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Halfway Volunteer Co. fire chief announcement expected

July 07, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

HALFWAY -- Whether Jeff Ringer will return as chief of The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway, Md., Inc. could be known Thursday morning, Ringer's attorney, John Salvatore said Wednesday.

The fire company's executive committee was scheduled to meet Wednesday night at the fire station to discuss a proposed agreement regarding Ringer that was hammered out by Ringer, Salvatore, fire company President James Kimble Sr. and John H. Urner, the fire company's attorney, Salvatore said.

The committee could approve, disapprove or modify the proposal, Salvatore said.

Ringer was placed on paid administrative leave, effective May 3.

Salvatore said previously that Ringer was placed on administrative leave after speaking to Maryland State Police and IRS investigators who were looking into bingo and tip jar operations at the fire company.

Urner said previously that Ringer was suspended pending a determination of whether he breached advice of counsel. Urner has said the administrative leave was another matter and he would not give the reason for it.

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If the proposal is approved, Salvatore said, details are not expected to be disclosed. The public would know whether or not Ringer was reinstated as fire chief.

Ed Ernst, deputy chief, has been serving as acting fire chief.

Wednesday night's meeting was to be a sanctions hearing on Ringer, Salvatore said. Because the sides came up with a proposed agreement, the executive committee will instead review that, he said.

If the committee does not approve the proposal, a sanctions hearing could be scheduled, he said.

"I think we'll probably have a statement for you tomorrow (Thursday) morning," Urner said Wednesday afternoon.

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