Kernersville, NC - Fire Captain John Fields with the Piney Grove Fire-Rescue Department has been suspended without pay after he was arrested Tuesday on a felony charge.
Fields is facing DWI and Felony Possession of a Firearm.
In addition to those charges, there are 13 pages of other criminal charges against the fire captain, dating back to when he was a teenager.
According to Forsyth County Deputy Fire Marshall Tim Whicker, the county knew Fields was a convicted felon when he was hired in 2008.
The Forsyth County Fire Department works on a contractual basis with Piney Grove.
Whicker says the Piney Grove Fire Department and the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners made the decision to give the fire captain, a second chance in 2008 on the basis that he had turned his life around.
According to Whicker, it's not uncommon in the industry to hire someone with a minor cirminal background, but it's on a case by case basis.
At 34-years-old, Fields has already been convicted of: Breaking and Entering, Reckless Driving, Felony Theft, Resisting an Officer and Harassing Phone Calls.
All of these charges were prior to his becoming a firefighter.
Fields' arrest this week come while he is awaiting trial for Aiding and Abetting an Impaired Driver back in October. An incident that started with a car chase and ended in his arrest later that day, according to police records.
WFMY News 2 asked the Piney Grove fire chief why Fields wasn't already on suspension for the charge in October. Chief Joe Martin said he had no comment on the matter.
Fields is the son-in-law of the fire chief, but the fire captain was with the department before Martin was hired.
The chief says he'll have no say in what happens to Fields' future with the department.