Carpentersville fires firefighter accused of battery
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Jason Elders, a part-time firefighter accused of beating a woman at a Christmas party he hosted, was terminated from the Carpentersville Fire Department Tuesday evening, after an internal probe found he met with the victim after his arrest and lied during the investigation, officials said.
"The police and fire departments see first hand the devastating consequences that physical violence can have in the community," Public Safety Director Al Popp said in a statement. "It is completely unacceptable for our own employees to contribute to that cycle of violence."
Elders' ouster came nearly three weeks after he was fired from the West Dundee Fire Department over his alleged role in the fight — he had been a part-time firefighter there for three years.
Elders, 39, spent five years working for Carpentersville and was paid $15.81 an hour before he was placed on administrative leave Dec. 26, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the fight.
That probe, which involved interviews with witnesses, Elders and photographic evidence, showed he acted inappropriately during the fight, lied to the village about his actions in the altercation and met with the victim after he was released from jail in direct violation of his bond, all violations of the department's rules, said Popp, who conducted the investigation.
The village fired Elders at the conclusion of a private hearing Tuesday, Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said.
"His passion for his version of events didn't overcome the lack of believability when compared to what the investigation showed," Rooney said. "Passion doesn't trump believability."
Elders, of St. Charles, was charged with misdemeanor battery in the Dec. 22 altercation at a party on Townhall Road in unincorporated Kane County.
Witnesses told police that Elders hit a 37-year-old woman repeatedly, according to the Kane County Sheriff's Department. She was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries at an area hospital.
His next court date is Thursday.
Meanwhile, Elders served as vice president of SEIU Local 73, which represents the village's 29 part-time firefighters.
Elders could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but he will fight to secure his job and back pay through an arbitration proceeding, Rooney said. His back pay could range between $6,000 and $10,000, depending on how long the case drags out, Rooney added.
SEIU Local 73 will furnish him with an attorney once he goes the arbitration route, said Adam Rosen, a union spokesman.
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