Wednesday, March 03, 1999

Firefighter pretended to be cop

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — A Liberty Township firefighter was convicted Tuesday of impersonating a Butler County sheriff's deputy during a stay at a hotel last year.

        Jack Matalka was found guilty of the misdemeanor after a two-hour trial before Judge Robert Hendrickson of Butler County Area III Court.

        Mr. Matalka, 34, of Hamil ton, could face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

        Judge Hendrickson scheduled sentencing April 26.

        Mr. Matalka, a paid-per-call firefighter, has been on administrative leave since his Jan. 22 arrest. He has been working for the department for about four years.

        Fire Chief Paul Stumpf said he would meet with Mr. Matalka and decide what disciplinary action to take.

        “The sentence he receives won't have any bearing on it,” he said.

        Mr. Matalka was accused of telling employees at the Holiday Inn Express in Union Township that he was an undercover drug investigator for the sheriff's office.

        Police said he showed a badge while staying at the hotel in November. They said they think it was his firefighter's badge.


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