Sex offender re-elected as volunteer fire chief

In 2001 Roger Gilbert Jr. was convicted of sexual assault on a four-year old girl.

Gilbert served his sentence and has been a volunteer with the Spartansburg Fire Department since 2010, but after word got out about the registered sex offender being re-elected as fire chief, some nearby residents are saying he should have to step down.

"If he has that on his record then I don't think he should get that title," said Macy Wardner, a Corry resident. 

As a leader in the community, some people question what happens if he's called to an incident involving children. 

"You shouldn't have sex offenders with little children if that's what they were accused of. That's not right. They have them feelings," said Robert Daly, a Corry resident. 

Legally there's nothing preventing a sex offender from becoming fire chief. That's up to the individual communities to decide.

"It doesn't make you feel good about it and it doesn't make your community look good," said Daly. 

But some community members are saying Gilbert served his time and has done whatever he can to do good since getting out. 

They tell us he's a changed man and a good chief.

"He goes to our church and he is trying his best to turn everything around for his life because he knows what happened is wrong," said Allan Fisher, a Spartansburg resident.

Fisher isn't alone in his opinion. 

Several people in Spartansburg who didn't want to go on camera also expressed their support for Gilbert.

We reached out to the Spartansburg Mayor Ann Louise Wagner but never heard back.

In an interview with The Corry Journal, she said the firefighters were aware of Gilbert's sex offender status.

She also said she supports the decision.
 


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