UPDATE: Meridian Twp. firefighter will not work during investigation
Meridian Township officials say they haven't been able to get in contact with the firefighter who allegedly made racist comments on Facebook.
Frank Walsh, Meridian Township manager, says, "We are told that he may be available during the next week.
Walsh says legally the Township cannot complete its investigation until the employee has been heard.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, Walsh said the firefighter will not work during the investigation.
He also says there have been other posts "relevant to the investigation."
Several people have called for the Township to fire the employee.
"Our decision must be one that can withstand a courthouse challenge or else all of our work will be undone," said Walsh.
Meridian Township leaders held a Zoom conference Wednesday regarding the investigation of racial comments made by a member of the township's fire department.
"It appears that one of our firefighters wrote BLDM and after several people ask him what does that mean?," said Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh.
"The comment is, 'They don't interpreted to Black Lives don't matter," added Walsh.
A woman who lives in Virginia reached out to the fire department after reading comments made on Facebook.
Meridian Township said the comments were abhorrent and don't represent the views of the community.
"We want to offer again our sincere apology to Black Lives Matter, our community and we stand in unison with our fire department. They're the best men and women we can have in our department," said Walsh.
The Meridian Township Fire Department member, who allegedly made these comments on Facebook, is not scheduled to work until the completion of the investigation.
"We plan to talk to the individual, we plan to talk to people who made comments about the comment that was made a throughout investigation and I expect it to be completed in the next 48 hours," said Walsh.
The public was able to comment on the matter during the meeting and ask questions.
Many wanted to know how they could help further the cause of Black Lives Matter and what the township was doing to address racism as well.
"We're going to be reaching out in the coming months - the coming weeks to find out and maybe what's occurred in the last couple of months of this nation has given us new rise to be a whole lot better," said Walsh.
A second news conference will be held sometime in the next 48 hours following the investigation.
You can watch the press conference here: