SEA ISLE CITY — The state is not budging.
A day after city officials accused the state Division of Fire Safety of losing relevant paperwork and “erroneously” concluding then-fire Chief Frank Edwardi Sr. did not have proper training, the state said the city still has not produced acceptable documentation to recertify Edwardi as a firefighter.
On Wednesday, a state review found Edwardi’s new application for certification — submitted this week to “clear his name,” according to the city — cannot be used to recertify him.
The documents included are over 25 years old, not notarized and missing a letter from the chief at the time of his training, said Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs, which oversees the Division of Fire Safety.
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What’s more, one of Edwardi’s submitted certifications was from an online course, when an in-person, instructor-led class is needed.
“The Division of Fire Safety’s records show no courses taken by Frank Edwardi Sr., which is why there is no record of ever issuing him any certifications,” Ryan said.
The state’s response represents the latest development in the dispute that has followed the June ouster of Edwardi, 75, and his two assistants, Mike Tighe and Mike Ryan, all of whom received cease-and-desist letters June 12. The state concluded they did not have the proper training documents to be certified as firefighters, or to be in a leadership position.