Internal Investigation In Kingsville After Fire Chief Charged

Nelson Santos, mayor of Kingsville, attends the regular meeting of council on October 11, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

The Town of Kingsville is beginning an internal investigation after its fire chief was charged with sexual offences against a minor.

“We are addressing the concerns that have been brought forward,” says Nelson Santos, Kingsville’s mayor. “These are serious allegations.”

Santos says the investigation is being done with workplace safety in mind.

“Under our obligations, we’re going to do an internal investigation just to cover ourselves, referencing Bill 168 and workplace safety,” says Santos. “That will be an internal investigation and we’ll see how much information we can get from that.”

The town’s fire chief, 60-year-old Robert Kissner, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation over the weekend, and appeared in court on Sunday before being released on bail. Kissner has been suspended with pay.

Council has named Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Dean as the acting chief of the department in the interim.

Santos stresses fire services won’t suffer with the chief’s departure.

“Nothing is being impacted in terms of having a response to any crisis or emergency situation,” says Santos.

The investigation may help to give the town’s staff and the community confidence all bases are being covered.

“We react like a family would react and we’re going to work together to ensure that we can get through this,” says Santos.

OPP ask anyone with information regarding the charges to call police at 1-888-310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.