North Hampton fire chief relieved of duties following suspected DUI crash

Thursday, January 2, 2020 | 6:57 PM

North Hampton Volunteer Fire Chief John Schwend has been relieved of his duties being charged with drunken driving and reckless driving.

Charges stem from a Dec. 15 crash in Gibsonia.

Schwend’s preliminary hearing’s set for Jan. 29 before Magisterial District Judge Tom Swan.

The volunteer fire department announced via letter this week that he was relieved of his duties as chief, suspended as a member of the department for six months and his driving authorization has been suspended indefinitely.

Its board of directors declined further comment.

The Northern Regional Police Department filed the charges Dec. 21.

Police said Schwend was driving with a blood alcohol level of .186, a little more than twice the legal limit of .08.

He and a passenger were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, WPXI reported.

Schwend also works as Edgeworth’s borough manager. Mayor Gary Smith said last month that status has not changed.

“(Schwend) contacted me and council members the day of the incident, and told us about the accident,” he said. “On our recommendation, he’s entered into a counseling program. We are all looking forward to him getting back in good health and continuing to work in the borough.”

Smith said the decision was made unanimously by council.