PA: Registered Sex Offender Elected As Fire Chief In Pa. Town, Mayor Defends Decision


SPARTANSBURG, Pa. (AP) – The mayor of a small Pennsylvania town is standing by its volunteer fire company’s re-election of a registered sex offender as its fire chief.

Chief Roger Gilbert Jr. was convicted in 2001 of sexual intercourse with a 4-year-old girl and is listed in the state’s Megan’s Law database, The (Corry) Journal reported Saturday . Court records show Gilbert is a felon who completed a five- to 10-year sentence for “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.”

Mayor Ann Louise Wagner says she and firefighters have been aware that Gilbert, an unpaid volunteer with the department since 2010, is a sex offender. He was just elected to his second term.

“I support the fire department and their decision to have him as chief,” Wagner told the Journal. “The firemen have always elected their own officers and that’s how it’s always been done. We don’t question their decisions.”

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Sex offender resigns as fire chief in Pennsylvania town


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Why do I feel like laughing at this one?

Wow. This isn’t something to cheer. Intercourse with a 4 year old? And what the heck is “involuntary” sexual deviant behavior?

The victim’s mother told the newspaper that she doesn’t believe he should be in a job where he could interact with children. [Even if it means saving a child’s life.]

The story requires Facebook or Twitter to comment, which I don’ have. If it’s not too much trouble, could someone please post this there for me?

Journalists are notorious for omitting facts if they lessen outrage, and prosecutors for grossly exaggerating facts to support their charges. Accordingly, it’s not fair or accurate to determine what the man did simply by the title of the statute for which he was convicted.

Second, it’s a volunteer, unpaid position elected by his peers who know him personally better than the mayor or anyone commenting here. His contact with minors is already limited (if not eliminated) by his status as a registered sex offender. Presumably his only direct contact with minors would be during an actual fire. I for one question who the really sick people are that would rather children die in a fire than be rescued by a registered sex offender.

Unlike the people who commented on the article on the CBS Pittsburgh website, I won’t speculate or assume to know the circumstances of a crime that happened 17 years ago when the guy was 26. I don’t see how it is germane considering the fact that his peers support him. They know something the rest of us don’t.


The comment section is what Colorado Judge Matsch identified, the public is what make the registry cruel and unusual punishment.

A majority of those people commenting do not believe this guy can ever be good and will always be a monster. What they’re all missing is he is being “re-elected” to be the fire chief by his peers at the station. He is volunteering his time to help save lives, homes, and businesses. That’s never good enough.

The mayor’s reaction, not giving in to hysteria, and the support of his fellow firefighters, is refreshing. They know what the guy did, yet seem ok with who he is now.

If someone has completed a sentence , they ALWAYS deserve an EQUAL plaing field. This is GREAT news!

If any of those commenters had any wisdom, they would try to learn from this fire chief. What happened and what he did to change it. Simple. That is the problem, uncomfortable sexual occurrences are always pushed under the rug and the former offenders silenced and segregated to invisibility. People act on fear and not information. If they did the same thing at their jobs, that is, ignore information and go all out on ignorance, they would not be productive or even destructive. How important is protecting children to these people, anyway? Not very. They don’t want to hear what may solve the problem, but just please the crowd.

😞 This is exactly why the Registries need to be abolished! He had moved on with his life and was doing good for his community.

If you see a flame-engulfed school bus full of trapped children, you’d better step away. Don’t try to help – the only thing in the news headlines will be your past in big bold lettering! 😞