Medina Township trustee, Medina city fire chief believe dirty politics is behind recent vandalism

Posted at 4:23 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 17:54:47-04

Thirty-eight part time Medina Township firefighters were forced to turn in their fire gear over the summer.

Township trustees voted to disband the fire department and signed a contract with the Medina city fire department instead.

Now, a township trustee and the Medina city fire chief believe they’re facing retaliation after the cost-cutting move.
Trustee Bill Ostman said someone poured five gallons of oil on his driveway.
"It had to be pressured washed, we had to soak it all up, it was a pretty big mess," Ostman said.
On Monday, police photos showed several more gallons were also dumped on the city fire chief’s driveway.

Neither man believes the vandalism was a coincidence.

They believe they were targeted.

While they have no proof, they said they believe the vandalism are acts of intimidation for getting rid of the township's department.

"You know politics is politics, and business is business, but you can't take it home. Don't take it out on my house, my family, there's a safety aspect," said Medina Fire Chief Robert Painter. 

The jugs of oil that were left behind are being tested for fingerprints.

The men said city fire crews have also been the target of unwelcome gestures by township firefighters.

"They've been driving by town hall here, when the city firefighters are out front, they've been shouting profanities. I know one of our firefighters flipped me off in the parking lot, yeah they're probably trying to intimidate me, but I’m not intimidated," Ostman said.

Ostman said closing the township fire department will save Medina township nearly $500,000.