A professional firefighter convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol last year has been promoted to a full-time driver of county emergency vehicles.
But two volunteer fire companies, Earleigh Heights and Odenton, have banned the 25-year-old firefighter, William Joseph Angyelof, from driving their emergency vehicles.
Fire department spokesman Capt. Gary Sheckells confirmed that Angyelof was promoted to a full-time driver in August.
Sheckells refused to comment on Angyelof's driving record, saying an emergency vehicle driver is required to have only a valid class A license.
According to Department of Motor Vehicle Administration records, Angyelof's license was restricted after he was charged with DUI in March 1990.Following a court hearing, he was allowed to drive only for employment and educational purposes. The restriction was removed Dec. 16, 1990, and he was promoted Aug. 1. The eight points Angyelof received forthe violation will remain on his record for three years.
Lee Sachs, a Baltimore attorney who represents the Earleigh Heights volunteers, said that company prohibits anyone who has four or more points from driving their equipment.
Some trucks can cost as much as $200,000, according to volunteer firefighters.
Angyelof could not be reached for comment yesterday.
"If we had known about it (Angyelof's driving record), then we would have acted upon it," Sheckells said.
"When we become aware of a problem, quite often if it's severe, thentheir driving privileges could be suspended."
Sheckells said suchcases are are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and decisions about disciplinary action are made by Fire Administrator Paul Haigley Jr. Sheckells refused to say if Angyelof had been disciplined.
Althoughthe driving records of all professional firefighters are reviewed when they are hired, the county fire department has no requirement thatdriving records be reviewed prior to promotions. Sheckells said driving records are randomly checked, however.
Louise Hayman, spokeswoman for County Executive Robert R. Neall, said there is no policy governing the number of points a county employee can have without losingdriving privileges. Such cases are handled by individual departments, she said.
"We are in the process of developing a system of cross-checking with the MVA for all county employees, whether they work for the snack bar or are a firefighter," she said.
"All employees' names would be put in the computer, and any time there is a driving infraction or a ticket, it would be immediately reported here to the Office of Risk Management."