RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- A former Ridgefield fire chief who retired this year following an investigation appeared to be intoxicated at the scene of a fire in December, according to documents obtained by the Ridgefield Press.
Former Chief Kevin Tappe had been under investigation for "violation of town policy" before he announced his retirement on Jan. 4, the Ridgefield Press reported. It was unclear what town policy had been violated, and town officials had no intention of releasing details until a Freedom of Information lawsuit was filed by Hearst Media Services Connecticut LLC and the Danbury News-Times, according to the Ridgefield Press, which had also filed its own Freedom of Information request.
The information that was released to the Ridgefield Press on Monday included a statement by a fire captain on the scene of the Dec. 17 fire at the Fox Hill condominiums. In his statement, the captain said that he believed Tappe was intoxicated, as he fell into a snowbank, had slurred speech and gave off the odor of alcohol, according to the Ridgefield Press. When the captain asked Tappe, he denied that he had been drinking and said he was groggy after falling asleep, the Ridgefield Press reported.
The captain declined to turn over command of the scene to Tappe, and instead had his wife drive him home, according to the Ridgefield Press. The town launched an investigation, which ended when Tappe retired, the Ridgefield Press reported.