Brookline’s Fire Chief Is Back Following Investigation

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Brookline, NH Fire Chief Charles Corey


Brookline Fire Chief Charlie Corey is back on the job this week after a months-long suspension and internal investigation.

Corey was put on leave Dec. 18, 2023, without any public explanation, and he was reinstated Tuesday in much the same manner. Corey would not speak about why he was placed on leave when contacted by

“I’m just not going to comment on it,” Corey said.

While the town did initiate an investigation into still unrevealed allegations against Corey, the procedure used for the investigation raises questions. When asked, Corey told the Brookline Fire Ward Board, also known as the Board of Fire Engineers, conducted the investigation.

The Fire Board is the hiring and firing authority for the fire department, though there are conflicts on the board. Fire Warden David Joki, for example, was the assistant fire chief reporting to Corey when Corey was escorted out of the fire station in December. Joki then took over as the interim chief for the department.

However, Joki told that it was the town’s attorney who investigated the allegations against Corey. 

“It’s all been done legally,” Joki said.

While there is a report and a resolution to the investigation, Joki declined to speak about any details.

“It’s all personnel stuff and we cannot answer it,” Joki said.

Adding further murkiness to the picture is the fact Town Administrator Scott Butcher left his position in February. Select Board Member Brendan Denehy took over the job on a temporary basis and it is not clear if the investigation into Corey was complete at that time. Denehy did not respond to a request for comment.

According to select board meeting minutes from Jan. 29, weeks before Butcher would leave, the select board and the fire board were jointly responsible for the investigation. The two boards agreed to hire an outside investigator to conduct interviews and file a report with findings.

The investigation was ongoing as of Jan. 29 when the board discussed a legal situation involving Fire Ward David Santuccio. According to the minutes, Santuccio was witnessed discussing the investigation inside the fire station with Joki. Though Santuccio denied making comments about Corey, he was banned from the fire station by selectmen for the duration of the investigation. Santuccio could not be reached Wednesday.

The nature of the allegations are not known, but when Corey was placed on leave Monday, Dec. 18, 2023 a Brookline Police Officer was in attendance while Corey vacated the fire station, Joki said last year. At the time, Joki told the presence of the police officer is standard given the situation, but did not comment on the specifics.

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