SEA ISLE CITY - City police this week said they have found no malfeasance in their investigation of the Volunteer Fire Company.

Police Detective Lt. Kirk Rohrer said police plan to return oversight of the fire company back to the nonprofit group's chief and officers within the next three weeks.

Mayor Leonard Desiderio took the extraordinary step in January of invoking an executive order placing police Chief Thomas D'Intino in charge of the fire company after an internal personnel feud led to rumblings - so far proved unfounded, police said - that firefighters would not respond to fires.

Rohrer said he interviewed nearly all of the company's 33 members and each said he would respond immediately to a fire or city emergency.

"The Fire Department has been very cooperative," Rohrer said. "All the members are dedicated people who have Sea Isle City's interests at heart."

Rohrer said nothing in his investigation warrants the filing of any criminal charges. The department is working with the fire company to update its bylaws, which have remained unchanged since they were drafted in 1896.

The squabble began when Fire Chief John Mazurie overturned disciplinary action meted out against his son, Lt. John Mazurie Jr., by other senior officers in the fire company.

Two longtime members of the fire company, Keith B. Larsen and Lt. Ronald Vansant, resigned over the dispute in January, but Desiderio has urged them to wait until the police investigation is complete to give them time to reconsider.

Rohrer said he is meeting with the fire company's bylaws committee to update the company's rules, which will address conflicts of interest and other policies that are commonly employed by modern fire companies.

Desiderio said the investigation's preliminary findings are not surprising.

"I think it was just some of the men being a little upset and insinuating they would not respond. But that's not the case. They're dedicated to this great fire department and the city," he said. He said he expects to rescind the executive order in the next three weeks.

Chief John Mazurie could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact Michael Miller:

609-463-6712

 

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