As a former College Station firefighter awaits his day in court on shoplifting charges, some people are wondering why the 43-year-old man, with a history of arrests, was hired in the first place.
Curtiss Donahoe was arrested Thursday on charges of shoplifting. The next day, he resigned from his position as firefighter at Station 2.
Investigators said he was caught on store surveillance video at two separate stores. The first time at Lowe's off William D Fitch and Highway 6, the second time, just a few weeks later, at the Target store on Texas.
Donahoe has been charged twice before on similar charges. Once in 2000 for theft by check, and a second time in 2004 for theft. Both were Class B misdemeanors, and both charges were eventually dropped.
According to Justice Web, the first charge was dropped because restitution was made. The second charge was dropped because the essential witness in the case had terminal cancer.
Assistant Fire Chief Jon Mies said firefighters need the trust of the public.
"I think that we need to be held to a higher standard," said Mies.
Mies wouldn't say if the fire department knew about Donahoe's background before he was hired, but said new recruits are scrutinized closely before they're accepted. And if there's anything in their past the fire department should know about, they'll find it.
According to the College Station Fire Department requirement guidelines, a misdemeanor conviction can get you disqualified. But since Donahoe was never convicted, Mies said there's room for error.
"There are some black and whites," said Mies. "Felonies are black and whites. You can't have a felony conviction, period. You can't have a class a misdemeanor conviction, period. But other than that, we look at all kinds of things."
Mies said the fire department has no plans to change their hiring process.