- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2012

A former D.C. fire official who played a role in the improper donation of a fire truck to a city in the Dominican Republic is up for a job as director of emergency management in Prince George’s County.

Ronald E. Gill Jr. is expected to answer questions before the Prince George’s County Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Fiscal Management on Thursday as part of his nomination process for the director’s job.

Mr. Gill has served as the county’s acting director of emergency management since late 2011 and was a part of County Executive Rushern L. Baker’s transition team, a county government spokesman said. Mr. Baker nominated Mr. Gill for the position.

Previously, Mr. Gill was a deputy chief in the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and was among those who violated D.C. regulations in 2009 through the improper donation of a fire truck and ambulance to the city of Sosua in the Dominican Republic, according to a D.C. inspector general’s report.

The report concluded that Mr. Gill improperly decommissioned two pieces of apparatus from use in order to help quickly donate them to the town. He also traveled to the town on paid leave, though he had been invited there to attend a Super Bowl party, and accepted gifts from town officials while there, the report said.

Mr. Gill could not be reached for comment at his county office Thursday morning.

Prince George’s County officials are aware of the “issue with the fire truck,” Mr. Baker’s spokesman, Scott Peterson, said.

In vetting Mr. Gill before the nomination, “we checked and called other individuals who made us feel confidant that Mr. Gill had a minimal role,” Mr. Peterson said. “Everyone that we checked on basically cleared Ronnie Gill. He came with great recommendations.”

Neither Mr. Gill nor any of the other public officials involved in the fire truck donation were charged criminally for the incident.

Since Mr. Gill was hired by the county, he has helped bring both emergency operations plans and the county’s continuity of government plans up to date, Mr. Peterson said.

“He’s helped stabilize the organizational structure of emergency management,” Mr. Peterson said.

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