LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WYTV) – Liberty trustees voted Thursday to demote Liberty Fire Captain Cathy Macchione and make her ineligible for a promotion for two years.
The decision negates a five-day suspension and is effective immediately.
This comes after a hearing officer affirmed allegations against Macchione involving drug use and the trading of drugs inside the fire department.
According to disciplinary files, Macchione was aware that other firefighters were trading prescription medication and she didn’t report the activity.
Trustees opted for the promotion discipline in lieu of the suspension because the department is short-staffed.
“With the staff shortages, we felt it was in the best interest of the township, the residents and the safety of the firefighters,” said Trustee Devon Stanley.
The allegations against Macchione came to light following an investigation of Firefighter John Beard’s suspected overdose death on April 12. According to the documents from the internal investigation, investigators found that Beard had texted Macchione asking if she had any spare “Smurf berries,” which Macchione admitted was what she called her prescription Klonopin.