Md. EMS chief in group facing 223 charges of hunting crimes suspended

The IAFF Local 1715 asked the Allegany County Government to remove Chief Christopher Biggs in October for a hostile work environment including "weaponization of quality assurance"


Teresa McMinn
Cumberland Times-News, Md.

ROMNEY, W.Va. — Eight area residents, including two former Mineral County deputy sheriffs and an Allegany County EMS official, have been charged with hunting crimes that span three West Virginia counties and part of Maryland.

West Virginia Natural Resources Police Lt. Timothy L. White on Tuesday said 223 charges that involve at least 27 antlered bucks taken illegally were filed in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties in West Virginia.

Former Mineral County deputy sheriffs Tyler Biggs and Dalton Dolly are among the people charged, White said.

They have resigned from their jobs, he said.

Christopher Biggs, who was appointed EMS chief of the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services in 2019, was also charged and has been suspended from his job effective immediately for an "alleged violation of law," county officials said via press release Tuesday.

Lieutenant Michael R. Salvadge will serve as acting chief of the county's EMS in the interim, the release stated.

Others charged are Colton Broadwater, Ivy Rodenhaver, Robert Horner Sr., Robert "Beau" Horner Jr., and Gregory Broadwater.

The offenses started in mid September and continued through late December, White said and added criminal complaints have been filed for the warrants.

The charges, many of which will meet trophy fees regarding illegal kills, include spotlighting and loaded guns in vehicles.

Someone convicted of poaching a trophy buck in West Virginia must pay a replacement fee that is calculated based upon the width of the antlers.

For example, a buck with antlers wider than 16 inches but less than 18 inches brings a fee of $5,000.

"For any deer in which the inside spread of the main beams of the antlers measured at the widest point equals 20 inches or greater (is) $10,000," West Virginia wildlife resources code states and provides additional detailed fines.

The Mineral County offices of sheriff, and prosecuting attorney "have been supportive of the investigation," White said.

Maryland Natural Resources Police might file charges involving wildlife and fish violations, White said.

Meanwhile, Allegany County officials continue to probe other allegations against Christopher Biggs.

In an Oct. 27 letter to the Allegany County Government Department of Human Resources, IAFF Local 1715, which represents paid full-time firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, asked for the removal of Chief Biggs from his position as EMS Chief.

"We have comprised a list of issues brought to our attention over the years that we believe should be considered by your department," the letter stated of allegations including low employee morale department wide, a hostile work environment, weaponization of Quality Assurance, nepotism, repeated violation of Weingarten Rights, derogatory comments about employees to other employees and the public/patients, inability to implement policies fairly and effectively to all employees and questionable ethics and integrity.

County commissioners agreed to review specific details of the allegations against Christopher Biggs by IAFF Local 1715.

" Allegany County Department of Emergency Services and Allegany County Department of Human Resources continues its investigation of any previous complaints received concerning matters of Chief Biggs' employment," county officials said via press release Tuesday. "Due to confidentiality of employee information, Allegany County Government will release no information regarding the above matters."
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(c)2022 the Cumberland Times News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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