Fire Chief suspended from roles in Gananoque and TLTI

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Fire Chief  suspended from roles in Gananoque and TLTI

Gananoque –  The Fire Chiefs truck remains parked in the garage at the Gananoque Fire Department after it’s Chief, Gerry Bennett, was placed on administrative leave Monday.

Erika Demchuk/Mayor of Gananoque:
“At this point in time we have to abide by what our lawyer is telling us.`

Which is to decline comment about the circumstances surrounding Bennett’s paid leave of absence.
Bennett is Fire chief for both Gananoque ‘and’ the Township of Leeds and The Thousand Islands Fire services. According to a joint media release from the townships, “information” has come to light within the last 24 hours which led to the suspension and internal investigation.

Morganne Campbell:
“CKWS has learned from sources close to the investigation that Bennett was put on leave after discrepancies in billing and invoices were discovered by both the town and the township.
Now that’s a point in the investigation neither Mayor is willing to comment on.”

Erika Demchuk/Mayor of Gananoque:
“I really, I really can’t say anything more at this point in time.”

Joe Baptista/Mayor of Leeds and The Thousand Islands:
“At this point again I have no, like no information that I can confirm or deny.”

Both municipalities selected acting Fire Chiefs.  In Gananoque longtime Fire Prevention Officer Dave Balderson will assume the role and in the Township, station Captain Rick Lawson will take over in the interim. As far as Gananoque and the Township are concerned, it’s business as usual.

Erika Demchuk/Mayor of Gananoque:
“Mutual aid agreements are all still in place, we work still very closely with training and whatever so there’s nothing going on in that respect we both are working together very closely.”

According to sources in the Gananoque Fire department – who didn’t want to be interviewed – firefighters who have worked under Bennett for nearly 15 years – are in shock over the development. And while many members of the service have questions about ‘exactly’ what their Chief has been accused of – for now – they will have to carry on – without answers.
Morganne Campbell CKWS Newswatch Gananoque.

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