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Fire Chief Will Not Face Disciplinary Action, Mayor Says

Tom Jardines suspended from his full-time job with the Port Authority for working with the Jefferson fire department on days he called out sick.

While Jefferson Township Fire Company No. 2 chief Tom Jardines may be in trouble with his superiors at his full-time job as a Port Authority officer, he will not face any disciplinary from the township, according to Mayor Russell Felter.

Jardines was issued a 45-day suspension without pay on Monday for fighting fires and doing other fire department work on days he called out sick from his job, according to a report on nj.com. The suspension came after an investigation was launched last year by the Port Authority inspector general’s office.

“He’s been a good chief, and as far as we know he’s always done everything by the book for Jefferson,” Felter said. “This issue is between him and the Port Authority. It has nothing to do with us. We won't be doing anything.”

Felter said he became aware of the suspension when he was contacted by news media on Monday night. He said he was not previously aware of any action being taken by the Port Authority against Jardines.

Jardines has served as chief of Company No. 2 for two years. He was elected by his peers in the fire department, Felter said, not appointed by the township. His current term expires in December.

On his web page at firengineering.com, Jardines notes that he has been involved in fire service since 1988 and has been a member of several other New Jersey departments, including the West New York and Hackensack ambulance Squads and Bogota First Aid and Emergency Squad.

Jardines could not be reached for comment.

Should the township have taken action against Jardines? Vote in the poll below and explain in the comments.

john August 02, 2012 at 10:50 PM
maybe after he gets his pension for volenteering his time to the F.D. then maybe you can say he is double dipping L.OS.A.P .http://www.penflexinc.com/LOSAP-Service-Award-Programs-c4.html JUST COPY AND PASTE THE LINK
Christine August 03, 2012 at 01:14 AM
This has NOTHING to do w/ his voluntary position of being fire chief in Jefferson Twp...but I guess someone thought this would give them a few days worth of headlines to drag his name through the mud and make opinion poles about him. We are fortunate that we have men and women in this town, like our current fire chief, that are willing to give of themselves and sacrifice their time by volunteering to serve those around them.
Bruce August 03, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Let's assume the allegations are proven true... then you are saying that calling in sick and getting paid while you are not really sick but doing other things during that paid sick time is o.k.? That's stealing, plain and simple! And, it raises serious questions about the person's character. It also sets a poor example for those who serve under him as chief, among others. And, Jefferson Township has now benefited at the expense of someone else... in this case, the Port Authority. Try this stunt where you work, and see what your boss has to say after you get caught!
Bob August 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Bruce, do you know the PA's sick time policy? Some companies will allow you to take a sick day for a doctors visit. Are you saying you can't take a sick day for a dr visit at 10am and then can't go out and volunteer your service for your town at 2pm? Christine, why are you complaining about the poll. So far it supports him by a landslide. How about letting fact come out in their entirety before rushing to judgement. . I personally don't have enough facts to make a judgement.
robmcc October 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
over 80% of the fire fighters in this country are volunteers. If you havent stepped up to help your community, I dont think you should weigh in on this subject. Oh yeah, how can he "stick it to JT? He's on duty when he's home from having a life which includes working.

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