I-TEAM: Nassau County hiring managers were aware of firefighter's past

Brian Bausch has since resigned from Nassau County Fire-Rescue

A Nassau County firefighter who was arrested this month in Clay County and charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery has resigned from Nassau County Fire-Rescue, the News4Jax I-TEAM has learned. 

The I-TEAM obtained Brian Bausch's personnel file, which included personnel documents from St. Johns County that were given to Nassau County hiring managers when they were making the consideration to hire Bausch. The personnel file shows he was highly qualified to be a firefighter, but it also shows Nassau County hiring managers knew they were taking a public relations risk when they chose to hire him.

According to more than 120 pages of personnel documents, Nassau County officials were fully aware of Bausch’s past when they chose to hire him two years ago. On a job application, Bausch checked the "yes" box when asked if he had been convicted, pleaded no contest or pleaded guilty to violating a state law within the past seven years. Court records show that in 2016, he was arrested by Neptune Beach police on multiple counts of assault with a weapon and illegal exhibition of a firearm. Although the assault charges were dropped, Bausch pleaded no contest to illegal exhibition of a firearm. 

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Nassau County hiring managers also had possession of a 2016 St. Johns County pre-termination notice that was in Bausch’s St. Johns County personnel file. The notice stated that Bausch failed to disclose to St. Johns County officials that he had been arrested by Neptune Beach police on multiple assault and firearm charges. Based on the information in the arrest report and the fact that Bausch was still on administrative leave after he had been placed under the Baker Act for allegedly making a suicidal comment to a fellow St. Johns County firefighter, St. Johns County officials intended to fire Bausch for his alleged actions, poor judgement and failure to comply with an agreement that would have reinstated him back to active duty. But Bausch resigned before he could be fired. His eight-year career with St. Johns County Fire-Rescue came to an end. His October 2016 resignation letter thanks co-workers for the memories and fellowship. 

On Wednesday, Bausch resigned from Nassau County Fire-Rescue, just five days after he was arrested at a hotel on Wells Road in Clay County on multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery. He wrote his resignation letter while in custody. 

On the same day Bausch submitted his resignation letter from the Clay County jail, the Nassau County Human Resource Office put out a memo, advertising an open firefighter position.

The Nassau County human resource director has not explained why officials chose to hire Bausch if they knew about his past. For nearly two weeks, the I-TEAM has left multiple messages with her assistant, asking her to call, but the I-TEAM had not received a phone call back as of Tuesday night. 

Bausch, 41, remained in jail Tuesday on $250,000 bond. 

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