Strasburg fire chief responded to multiple calls

Strasburg Fire Chief Dale King responded to five calls during a time when the Strasburg Fire Department says he was on administrative leave.

According to incident reports obtained by the Northern Virginia Daily in response to a public records request, King responded to five calls between Nov. 12 and Nov. 25. All of those calls occurred after an affidavit accusing King, 36, of having sex with a 17-year-old girl was unsealed in Frederick County court.

The new information calls into question the accuracy of a news release the department published late Wednesday stating that the department placed all of its members under administrative leave as soon as the affidavit was unsealed.

“The Strasburg Fire Department learned the details of this investigation along with the press and public in November 2017,” the release states. “At that time, the leadership of the Strasburg Fire Department immediately placed every member involved on administrative leave; suspending them from all duties with the department, including emergency responses.”

But the incident reports show that King responded to a building fire on Toms Brook Drive, accidents on I-81 and John Marshall Highway and a special type of incident on Olive Road after the affidavit was unsealed. He was dispatched for one other call on Nov. 24 but that dispatch was canceled en route.

King has not responded to an incident since Nov. 25, according to the fire incident reports. No other member named in the affidavit has responded to an incident since the affidavit was unsealed.

Fabian Sosa, one of the members named in the affidavit, said that he is no longer a member of the department. The incident reports show that he has not responded to an incident since April 1.

King has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Adam Funkhouser, who was assistant chief for most of 2017, said that he served as acting chief for some amount of time prior to the department’s elections in December. Under the department’s bylaws, the assistant chief is second in command to take over the duties of the fire chief.

But Funkhouser declined to state the period of time in which he served as fire chief, referring questions to the department’s president, Glenn Mason.

Mason has not responded to a request for comment.

The newly reported incidents come after the Northern Virginia Daily reported on Friday that King and one other member of the department, Chris Pangle, appear to have performed department-related duties after they were placed on administrative leave.

Pangle responded to two incidents on Jan. 1, after he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to incident reports. Pangle denied that he had responded to any incidents after he was charged, citing a data-entry error.

At the time, the Northern Virginia Daily only had the department’s incident reports from 2018. Since then, the Daily has obtained all of the department’s 2017 incident reports.

King spoke to the paper, representing himself as the fire chief, a contrary to Wednesday’s statement from the department saying that he had been placed on administrative leave at the time of the newspaper interview. During that interview, King said that under the department’s policies, members are not allowed to “represent the department” when they are on administrative leave.

Lewis Millholland contributed to this report.

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