Clearwater fire assistant chief accused of theft

- A case of theft has just been added to a growing list of embarrassing headlines coming out of the Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department.

Assistant Chief of Health and Safety Ronald Gemsheim is accused of stealing a $3 5Hour Energy from 7-11 Monday morning.  He claims it was a mistake.

It is a petty crime, but one that - pending a review - could cost Gemsheim his career.

"I'm very sorry for the incident to occur, but I'm also embarrassed and it takes away, once again, that 99.5-percent of employees do," said Fire Chief Robert Weiss.

The theft accusation is the latest issue facing the department.

In 2014, a lieutenant was forced to resign after he admitted to having sex inside a fire station with two women and watching porn on his phone.

In 2012, former chief Jamie Geer received a life sentence for sexually abusing a teen.

Most recently, a Lieutenant and a fire medic were accused of having an inappropriate relationship at work. In response to this, the latest scandal, cameras will be installed inside and outside the departments.

"There are circumstances associated with each incident and so, no, my confidence isn't shaken. I'm still as confident as ever," City Manager, Bill Horne said.

When asked about Gemsheim's future, City Manager Horne appeared less confident.

"The question for me is, 'can he perform his duty as he has in the past? Can he receive confidence of, not only his peers, but the public he serves?' I'd say that's in jeopardy," Horne said.

Gemsheim has a March 22 court date.  He does not have a prior criminal history.

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