PFC votes to remove Bielen
STEVENS POINT – On March 29, police and fire commission (PFC) members announced their decision to immediately removed Firefighter Casey Bielen from the city’s fire department.
Disciplinary hearings for Bielen started on March 1, after he was charged with crashing a vehicle under the influence of alcohol while driving to work. Bielen was also accused of disobeying rules and regulations and harassing women online.
Bielen has been on paid administrative leave since July 13, while the investigation was conducted.
“Casey Bielen is hereby removed from the service of the Stevens Point Fire Department for violation of the department rules and regulations and standard operating procedures effective immediately,” said Administrator Dean Dietrich.
The PFC also voted to uphold Bielen’s disciplinary suspension and reports relating to his accident on Jan. 26, 2020, denying Bielen’s appeal.
“The statement of charges issued by the city should be upheld in its entirety,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich did not read the commission’s entire 12-page decision. Commissioners heard five days of public hearings and deliberated for four days in closed session before making their announcement.
Findings of Fact
The commission’s “findings of facts” in the 12-page document included 12 points commissioners made. Findings from the PFC document, include:
Bielen did not report to work at his regular start time on January 26, 2020, and was under the influence of alcohol while driving to work that morning at such a level that he was impaired and should not have reported for duty on that work day because of his impaired condition.
Bielen intentionally misinformed law enforcement officials and department staff about his location with the intended desire to mislead law enforcement officials as to his location and to avoid a meeting with law enforcement officials or department Sstaff to avoid a determination whether he was impaired or unable to perform his regular duties.
Bielen was the only person at the scene of the accident that suggested he was impaired by a concussion due to the crash and appeared to only remember certain aspects of the events surrounding the crash that supported his version of the incident.
“Moving forward the Stevens Point Fire Department will continue to provide the same high level of service to our community that has come to be expected,” said Fire Chief Robert Finn in a public letter. “We believe in our core values and the P.R.I.C.E. of doing business. Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence in all we do.”
The full PFC announcement can be viewed at stevenspoint.com/meetingsLive.