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new information on reasons for porter fire department search warrant

The District Attorney’s Office this morning released additional information into the reasons behind the search warrant being served on the Porter Fire Department Administrative Offices and the ESD Six Office at the fire station located on Loop 494 at Farris Green Road.

During the course of the investigation into the DWI arrest on Chief Jody Binnion and his perjury charge which followed it was learned that on the night of the arrest for Binnion that Chief Binnion, who was off duty allegedly requested one of his Deputy Chief’s to respond to the scene of his arrest to take possession of Binnion’s personal vehicle which otherwise would have been towed. This was while the Deputy Chief was said to be on duty and responded with fire department equipment. 

This is believed to be Abuse of Official Capacity and Official Oppression. and it appears Binnion’s actions could be illegal.

After the District Attorney’s Office received the completed offense report from DPS on the arrest of Binnion, they requested time sheets of the night in question for the deputy chief who responded to the scene at Binnion’s request.

On December 14, 2011 the District Attorney’s Office received some payroll records of the Deputy Chief. Based on the records that  received, it was clear that the Deputy Chief worked at least 70 hours during the period of October 31, 2011 and November 13, 2011. However, the records did not include any timesheets or detailed reports on the exact hours he worked on November 3 and 4, 2011. The records did include one “MCESD#6-Employee Time Sheet” for the period November 14 to  November 17, 2011 for the Deputy Chief.. Therefore, the District Attorney’s Office  believe that  timesheets do exist and are being kept at the ESD#6 offices.. The timesheets they believe will show whether the Deputy Chief was on duty when he responded to Binnion’s DWI arrest scene.

It was learned that on a weekly basis, there is a “master” work schedule which details the shifts and who will be working and what times they will be working and are kept by the ESD.

It was further learned that  that some concrete work was done at the fire station and at the same time at Chief Binnion’s home by the same contractor. It is believed by the District Attorney’s Office that the work at Chief Binnion’s home was done at the expense of the ESD.

This was another reason for the Search Warrant. The District Attorney’s Office is attempting to determine if indeed the work at Chief Binnion’s home was paid for by the ESD. Those records were part of what was being sought to determine if Theft by a Public Servant took place.

It is also alleged that in 2009 ad 2010 Binnion and possibly others falsified time sheets and insurance records for certain employees. Also they were attempting to determine if Binnion allowed employees to draw their full salaries in addition to overtime even though they were physically not present.

Allegations also came to the District Attorney’s Office that Binnion often instructed employees to submit false and backdated timesheets so that these employees would not lose insurance and have to pay insurance premiums. But it is alleged that only Binnion falsified insurance records.

Records also indicated that in November 2009 the attorney for ESD 6 was involved in a conversation with Binnion regarding paying employees who were not actually
working in a “shift swapping” scenario. The District Attorney’s Office believes that Tampering With a Government Record did take place and the records seized would prove that allegation.

It is also believed by the District Attorney’s Office that Abuse of Official Capacity took place when Binnion allowed his wife Rachel to use ESD 6 office equipment, paper and supplies for her hair salon business.

The District Attorney’s Office had the search warrant signed Tuesday afternoon and executed it on the fire department just before 5 p.m.

EDITORS NOTE: ONCE AGAIN THIS IS AN ONGOING INVESTIFGATION GOING ON BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. THE ONLY CHARGES FILED THUS FAR ARE THE DWI  AND PERJURY. THIS DOES NOT REFLECT ON THE DEPARTMENT AS A WHOLE WHICH IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST RESPONSIVE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THAT DEPARTMENT ARE NOT JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY BUT TRULY LOVE HELPING OTHERS AND SERVING AND PROTECTING THE PUBLIC BY PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EACH AND EVERY DAY.

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3 Comments

  1. MOCOLEO

    But no matter how much good you do…this is still a reflection on the dept. and a black eye as a whole because he was ??suppose?? to be the leader/head of the dept. and leading by example….

    This I say is poor leadership because as the Fire Chief??..your never off work just like a Police Chief, Sheriff or Constable.

    Now as for the Asst. or Dep. Chief,If memory serves me right these at PFD are salaried positions so therefore you in a sense always available at a moments notice..

    Kinda sounds like theres some new staff coming to run the place…

  2. CaseyA

    Yes unfortunately so many hard working firefighters who will now be questioned by some. Thank you to all the Porter Firefighters who save lives everyday. Also MCHD Paramedics!

  3. Jim

    Regardless of whatever unethical or illegal activities have allegedly taken place inside the dept, I still have the utmost respect for the firefighters and the work that they do. It is a physically demanding job where these men risk their lives to save the lives and property of anyone that calls on them. Even though Ethics is an extremely important issue, and I don’t condone any illegal activities, I am glad that they are there to do what they do.

    To All Firefighters, I say “Thank You For Everything That You Do!”

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