Cass County board suspends, demotes fire chief

May 22—Cass County Fire District No. 1 chief Jerry Maxson was suspended and demoted Monday morning after the board of trustees met in an executive session to determine disciplinary action following the fire chief's arrest in White County.

Maxson was charged in White County Superior Court on May 10, 2023, for operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and operating a vehicle with alcohol concentration equivalent to at least .08 but less than .15, both misdemeanors.

The Cass County Fire District Board of Trustrees announced the disciplinary action during a public meeting following their executive session.

"Based on our discussion, Mr. Maxson has been placed on suspension and demoted from his position as fire chief," said HR and fiscal officer Bridget Enyeart.

The decision passed the board 3-0.

The factual basis of the disciplinary action was taken from the electronic case history of the White County Superior Court docket. The board also consulted with the District #1 employee handbook policy and procedures manual.

"Our employee disciplinary action is separate from Mr. Maxson's criminal case and even though Mr. Maxson has been charged in the White County Superior Court, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty of his alleged misdemeanor charges," read a press release handed out at the public meeting.

All board members and employees have been instructed to refrain from discussing the alleged incident with the media, members of the public or between department employees.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by WFLI News 18 in Lafayette said Maxson was slurring his speech and had trouble maintaining balance during the late night stop. Maxson allegedly failed a breathalyzer test.

Maxson posted a $500 cash bond on May 11 and made an appearance in White County Superior Court on May 12. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 19 and the bench trial is set for 9 a.m. September 7, both with Judge Brad Woolley.

Maxson is represented by Logansport attorney Brad Rozzi.