Former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief under investigation

By Amanda Waters

The Town of Mint Hill received a federal subpoena May 24 and is cooperating with federal agencies in an investigation of recently resigned Fire Operations Director, Jeremy Russell.  “We are absolutely not under investigation as a town,” said Town Manager Brian Welch.  “The town is actively cooperating with them in their review.”
The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution May 24 authorizing the town staff, town attorney and members of the board “to meet with investigating agents and attorneys for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Attorneys Office.” According to the resolution they could inform investigating agents and attorneys of  “(1) the suspension, disciplinary action and later resignation of Mint Hill Fire Operations Director Jeremy Russell, (2) the reasons for and circumstances surrounding such personnel action and events, (3) the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and (4) any additional information requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and/or the United States Attorneys Office in connection with their investigation of Mr. Russell and/or any related individuals and entities.”
Russell was hired as a paramedic June 13, 1994.  The town promoted him to Fire/EMS Operations Director April 1998.  He received a disciplinary suspension April 13, 2012, and resigned the same day. The Board of Commissioners held several closed sessions last month regarding an unspecified personnel matter.
The board passed a resolution April 12 “to inform the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Board Chair and other members of the Board of Directors of the suspension and other disciplinary action involving Mint Hill Fire Chief Jeremy Russell and the reasons for such personnel action.”
The board also passed a resolution May 2 to make the MHVFD Board of Directors and counsel for the MHVFD aware of “the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department.”
The FBI declined comment on its involvement with the investigation of Russell.
When asked what Russell is being investigated for, Welch said he was unable to comment and directed questions to the U.S. Attorneys Office, which also declined to comment.
Chairman of the MHVFD Board of Directors, Jerry Mullis, said “Our mission here at the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department is to be responsive to the investigation, assist in any way we can, and go on in our mission of providing fire protection and emergency medical and transport to the people in our fire district.”
The fire department held a board meeting June 4, ending with a two-hour closed session where they discussed personnel and insurance matters and the investigation.
The fire department has experienced several personnel changes since Russell resigned.  John Phillips is the new fire chief, Tommy Moore is the assistant chief in charge of fire operations, David Leath is the assistant chief in charge of EMS operations, and the chief introduced three newly-hired firemen at last night’s meeting.  There were changes in the board, too, as Henry Allison stepped down as the vice chair and member of the board.

10 comments on “Former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief under investigation
  1. There is a lot of words, words, words, here…in fact defensive words,words,words.

    Question is about what?

  2. Oh, it’ll come out. Funny though, what they did to one is not done to … all. Skeletons in the closet. Should be mandatory for all town …

  3. Being one of his former employees, all I can say is karma…well she will get you. I have never ever met a person that is so controlling and corrupt at the same time. Family trips to the beach in a Town Vehicle using town gas money? Really? I’ll let other secrets come out on their own. I am just glad that I was smart enough to leave when I did.

  4. Why has there been nothing new reported here? Are the elected town “officials” hiding something? Or actually many things? Come on, how about more responsive reporting?

  5. I resigned in late ninety’s because of the same thing. Jermery and Paul Campbell has been taking the Town of Mint Hill to the cleaners for years. They were many things going on there I didn’t want any part of. I left and never looked back. Karma is a bitch. However in saying that they are a lot of good decent members of that department, I hope they put this behind them and move on. Jermery is not the only one that should be investigated. The former Chief and Mayor should be in there too.

  6. Pingback: Former fire chief pleads guilty to embezzlement | The Mint Hill Times

  7. It is about time they get him. We told them a while back about this guy and they did not believe us, now look who is laughing LOL Now that you have him on this maybe he can give me my money back he owes me for helping him. Now he will get what he deserves.

  8. Ken I agree with you. But we told them about this and nothing was done. We told the Mint Hill police and they done nothing. That is why we moved out of Mint Hill they are Jackasses.!!! We also told about a lady letting her son drive drunk and while drinking and the use of drugs at her home and they today have done nothing. So I guess when Mint Hill gets tired of all this they will change and do something. But for now we have to put up with all the scams and police bull— . I say fire them all. And one that needs to be investigate is Troy Allen Bridges for taking a 14 year old girl and having sex with her. And he was a EMT and worked at the charlotte motor speedway. Get them all I say.

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