I-Team: Did whistleblower complaint affect Perrysburg firefighter’s job status

A former Perrysburg firefighter is taking legal action to figure out why he is no longer a Perrysburg firefighter.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - A now former Perrysburg firefighter is taking legal action to figure out why he is no longer a Perrysburg firefighter.

It’s a fight years in the making, with worry about his whistleblower complaint playing a role.

Jonathan Seiverth isn’t manning one of the Perrysburg fire stations these days and it’s not clear if he will again.

Ohio’s Court of Claims got a letter in December of 2022 with allegations coming out of the city of Perrysburg, where Seiverth was a firefighter paramedic.

The complaint at that time was that he had undergone two disciplinary investigations, “related to a whistle-blower complaint that I submitted to a federal agency.” That is according to his letter.

Seiverth wanted more details so he went to court demanding public documents pertaining to his case. Some of them have been now made public.

In a 2022 interview with Perrysburg police, Seiverth says he reported misuse of handling of prescription medications in the department to the Drug Enforcement Agency, the DEA.

That was all part of the city’s internal investigation where they looked into if Seiverth tried to access the medication storage system that was nicknamed the “vending machine” or “drug box.”

A memo from the city’s then-law director in 2022 asks if the firefighter violated a work rule when he requested and was granted access to the vending machine. The law director determined he did not. According to the law director, he was quote “acting in good faith”

Seiverth has received discipline in the past which includes a demotion for a 2020 incident when he was accused of throwing a chair 15-20 feet across the room, breaking the chair and putting a hole in the wall according to a city investigative report.

Seiverth has won several legal challenges to get those public documents and try and figure out exactly what went into his case.

The city of Perrysburg told the I-Team it does not comment on ongoing or pending litigation.

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