FOND DU LAC - A Fond du Lac firefighter could lose his job. He allegedly worked on his business while at work for the fire department. Edgar Ramirez-Tellez will go before the Fond du Lac Police and Fire Commission next week.
Ramirez-Tellez is an eight-year veteran of the department. But starting last August when he was preparing to open the restaurant Casa del Tequila, Ramirez-Tellez allegedly began using work time to do work for his restaurant.
"If you're going to do business, conduct personal business for monetary gain somewhere else, it's not right," said Chief Peter O'Leary with the Fond du Lac Fire Department.
O'Leary says he and city staff met with Ramirez-Tellez in September about improper use of the department copy machine and computers. The complaint says Ramirez-Tellez was using them for his business plan.
The complaint also alleges Ramirez-Tellez called in sick to the fire department the day before the grand opening of his restaurant last October. Something Chief O'Leary says does not sit well with him, but doesn't reflect on the other members of the department.
"We try and strive to do good in this community and never have anything happen that causes anybody to think that we are not anything but good stewards of the money that we are given by taxpayers," said O'Leary.
We reached out to Ramirez-Tellez at his home and his restaurant for comment. He referred us to his lawyer, who also declined to comment other than to say they plan to vigorously fight the charges.
The decision on whether to fire Ramirez-Tellez rests with the city's Police and Fire Commission. But O'Leary says anything less than that would send the wrong message.
"Anytime anything like this happens that gives a blemish to our department. It doesn't sit well with any of us," said O'Leary.
The meeting is open to the public, but the commission will meet behind close doors to consider the future of Ramirez-Tellez with the department.
The hearing will take place in the Fond du Lac City Council Chambers next Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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