Former fire chief appeals department’s removal of life membership
STRASBURG — Former Strasburg Fire Department Chief Dale King is appealing a decision to revoke his life membership from the department.
In a meeting of the Fire Department restructuring committee on Thursday, the committee members voted to hear King give his appeal during their next regular meeting at 9 a.m. on June 18. The committee members discussed the matter during a closed session, so it is unclear on what basis King plans to appeal.
Following the committee meeting, King said in a phone interview that he was only appealing the department’s decision to revoke his life membership and that he was not seeking to regain any form of active membership within the department.
King resigned from his position as fire chief and as an active member of the department earlier this year, after he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“I spent 22 years (with the fire department), and when the charges came down, I resigned as fire chief and also resigned as active member,” King said. “I feel I put my time in where I can at least have my life membership.”
King declined to speak further about his appeal, citing pending legal matters.
In April, King pleaded no contest to the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Louis Campola, who at the time was the Shenandoah County assistant commonwealth’s attorney prosecuting the case, accused King of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.
Judge Kevin Black sentenced King to one year with 10 months suspended, which would leave King spending at least two months in jail. King is currently appealing the sentence; his trial is on May 30.
Two weeks after Black’s sentencing — and after department members narrowly voted down an identical measure — department members voted to revoke King’s life membership “due to conduct unbecoming of a firefighter.”
The timing of King’s trial in the Shenandoah County Circuit Court could mean that King would be in jail at the time of the June appeal hearing. Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said that he believed the hearing would take place that day regardless of the outcome of the trial.