Fenton Township Fire Chief Remains On Paid Administrative Leave
August 3, 2018
Fenton Township’s Fire Chief went in front of township board members Thursday evening to discuss allegations over sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
The special meeting at Fenton Township’s civic center started with an open session. After the public’s input and questions regarding issues with the chief were handled, the board went into a closed session to discuss whether Chief Ryan Volz will be disciplined for allegations stemming from a lawsuit filed by Firefighter Kristy Polidan and Captain Kirk Stephens. In the suit, filed July 24th in Genesee County Circuit Court, Polidan alleges she was subject to sexual harassment since she was hired in January 2015, specifically that a rumor had circulated she was having oral sex with Chief Volz.
Polidan says when she complained to him about it, he instead subjected her to pervasive retaliatory harassment by suggesting her to go under his desk and give him oral sex. Volz is accused of further harassing Polidan and engaging in retaliatory behavior after she complained to a captain at another station, whom suspended two firefighters for harassment.
Attorney Jeffery Donahue who represents Chief Volz says that the lawsuit is misconstruing facts and that it’s making something that just isn’t there. Donahue says that the chief denies that there is any pervasive, sexual harassment, or any discrimination towards female fire fighters.
The session was reopened four hours later and township officials stated they need more time to investigate the lawsuit. Volz is still on paid administrative leave, and a new meeting has been scheduled for Monday August 13th at 8:00am. There the township will discuss what sanctions, if any, they may impose on Volz. (EO/JK)