TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A Terre Haute firefighter accused of sexual misconduct with a minor has been suspended without pay for one year.
The decision was made Thursday with a 3-1 vote by the Terre Haute Fire Merit Commission.
Rodger Plunkett II is facing five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor under the age of 14.
The commission’s decision on Thursday was based on three prior allegations that Plunkett admitted to that violated department rules and regulations.
According to members of the commission, Plunkett admitted to two OVWI arrests, one that happened in 2009 in Vigo County and another in 2018 in Hamilton County.
The commission also says Plunkett admitted to distributing a photo of two unknown men engaging in a sexual act.
They say this photo was then photoshopped with the faces of another member of the department and a local citizen.
Chief Jeff Fisher who has pushed for the termination of Plunkett says he was not happy about the commission’s decision.
“I’m disappointed in their decision but we’ll move forward. This is a great department, a lot of great firefighters on this department and we’ll keep our head up and move it forward,” Fisher said.
According to members of the commission, if Plunkett still has pending charges after his suspension ends, his suspension will continue.
If Plunkett is convicted, his employment status will be reviewed further by the merit commission.
If Plunkett is not convicted, he can be reinstated.
The merit commission member that voted against Plunkett’s suspension, spoke in favor of him being terminated.
Fisher says he is looking into a possible appeal of the decision.
Plunkett was suspended with pay prior to Thursday’s meeting.