Rausch facing charges of misconduct, insubordination and neglect of duty
Anthony Fiducia is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Coxsackie Fire Chief Barry Rausch is facing 11 charges of misconduct, insubordination and neglect of duty, and will defend himself against those charges in a disciplinary hearing December 19. Rauch, a 40-year veteran of the fire department, was suspended by the Coxsackie Village Board in November. It is alleged Rausch routinely failed to communicate with officers and members of the fire department, and the mayor, in accordance with his duties as chief; failed to maintain equipment; and did not provide adequate fire prevention training to the Coxsackie Elementary School, among other charges. Rausch is also accused of engaging in political activities as chief when he used the fire department's text messaging system, usually reserved for emergency communications, to invite and encourage department members to attend an open house about the proposed UMH housing development. Coxsackie Transport owner and former village trustee Wayne Parks said that was the political motivator behind Mayor Mark Evans’ decision to suspend Rausch. Evans is not talking to the press about the chief's suspension. If found guilty, Rauch will be immediately removed from office as fire chief. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.