Reservoir patrolman Gary Fish calls firing 'suspicious'

"We're in full compliance with the DEC," Cunningham said. "DEC has been out there, and they looked at the entire situation and they issued a report and they have given us a letter of requirements and we're working very closely with them."

Cunningham said there was no wrongdoing on the town's part in Fish's termination, but said he is legally unable to respond to the accusations.

"The specifics on why he was let go -- this is always a frustration because when someone gets let go, they can say anything they want, but we can't talk about it because it's a personnel matter," Cunningham said. "So that's all I can tell you."

Fish said the way he was fired was also unusual.

"I reported to work and got a note to call the [water plant] supervisor and was told to go to his house near the reservoir, which is taxpayer provided, and he told me that I was done," Fish said. "Usually when you fire someone you don't invite them to your house."

Cunningham confirmed that Bethlehem's chief water treatment plant operator Rich Sayward lives on town-owned property but said he couldn't comment on the specifics of the termination.

The DEC fined the town $15,000 in June for mercury and petroleum reporting and handling violations" that occurred over the past two years.

By signing a consent form, paying the $15,000 and remaining compliant, the town does not have to pay an additional $60,000 civil penalty to the DEC, according to the state's signed consent order, which stated the fine could have totaled $75,000.

Fish said he was fired shortly after an article in Spotlight Newspapers reported that the town had signed a consent order and was fined by the DEC.

Currently, the town is in full compliance with all of the stipulations of the consent order signed by Cunningham on June 6, according to DEC Region 4 spokesman Rick Georgeson.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment