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12 Town of Stockbridge volunteer firefighters resign over removal of chief

February 06, 2019 11:18 PM

TOWN OF STOCKBRIDGE – Volunteer firefighters in the Town of Stockbridge are rallying around their former chief.

He was voted out by town selectmen, who according to our media partners at the Berkshire Eagle voted him out for mismanagement and poor judgment.

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“We all put our gear in the front and everyone just whipped out their phone and took a picture and it was our last picture of our crew,” said former Town of Stockbridge Volunteer Firefighter Matthew Szwyd, who is also the chief’s son-in-law.

Szwyd was referring to the moment after Chief Chuck Cardillo was fired. That’s when 12 volunteers went down to the station and resigned.

“He deserved that much respect from us and that much of a commitment,” said Szwyd. “We feel that if the select board feels he's not worthy being on the department none of us are.”

Cardillo is also a town selectmen so the vote to remove him came down to just two people. There are a few reasons why the selectmen voted out Cardillo. The big one being that Cardillo ordered more than $80,000 in excess supplies for the fire department, which Cardillo says he was scammed in to.

"He's a very trusting guy perhaps to a fault,” said Szwyd. “So if a company was sort of pressuring him, you're contractually obligated to take this much product he would assume that he probably was because of some agreement he made from the past."

The Berkshire Eagle reported that the selectmen accused Cardillo of extremely poor judgement and incompetent management.

Szwyd said he understands there has to be consequences, but he didn’t think it should be removing him as chief.

“It’s too easy to look at him and try to find a scapegoat in all of this because you know the fact of the matter is this scam got by the town accountant, town treasurer,” said Szwyd.

Szwyd said from his understanding the department now has just about eight members, which could pose safety problems.

“Daytime hours, most of them have full time jobs out of town,” said Szwyd.

Now, the 12 former volunteer firefighters are asking for one thing.

“We just want the chief to have his job back,” explained Szwyd.

NewsChannel 13 did reach out the two town selectmen who voted Cardillo out, but did not hear back. We also reached out to Cardillo’s lawyer along with the Town of Stockbridge Fire Department, but didn’t hear back from them either.

Credits

Emily De Vito

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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