Firefighter Who Killed Dogs Faces Boss

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The Columbus firefighter who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges faced his boss Wednesday for a disciplinary hearing.

Columbus Fire Chief Ned Pettis heard the results of an internal investigation of the firefighter who admitted to shooting his two dogs and dumping their carcasses in a fire station dumpster in December. Firefighter David Santuomo said he killed Sloopy and Skeeter because he did not want to pay to board them while he was on a cruise.

Now Santuomo could lose his job. Battalion Chief David Whiting speaks for the Division of Fire. He said Fire Chief Pettis will decide what kind, if any, disciplinary will be taken against Santuomo.

“The fire chief has to take into account what policies and procedures and standards that he violated within the division,” Whiting said.

Whiting said it could be a couple of days before Pettis makes a decision. That decision goes to the city’s Safety Director Mitchell Brown for a final review.

Late last month, the firefighter, who has been with the division for twelve years, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges and possession of a criminal tool – a homemade silencer he used on the gun to shoot the dogs.

Since then a couple thousand letters have poured into the Division of Fire from local citizens outraged over Santuomo’s actions. Battalion Chief Whiting said many of the letters call for Santuomo’s termination.

“You know, people are just displeased with his actions, and, you know, have some difficulty with being him a public official, working in a position that he is, you know. So there’s some discomfort there,” Whiting said.

Santuomo faces 90 days in jail. He’ll serve that in 10-day stints over the next two years. Santuomo also owes more than $4,600 in fines and restitution.

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