Old Saybrook fire marshal under investigation; town responds

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OLD SAYBROOK --  Plenty lot of activity, but very little information regarding a police investigation into a long time Old Saybrook town employee.

Donn Dobson was named Old Saybrook Fire Marshal Aug. 31, 1998. And, it's unclear whether his nearly 19-year run is over.

The investigation into Dobson has been ongoing for several months.

"We are also at the Westbrook Town Hall, in cooperation with the state police, again, seeking data and electronic information," said Lt. Kevin Roche of the Old Saybrook Police Department.

Westbrook Town Hall is involved because Dobson is also a part-time fire marshal there. But, investigators won't answer why he is being investigated "other than we are seeking data and various departments are helping us find that data," said Roche.

Search warrants are for the fire marshal's offices in both towns and Dobson's Old Saybrook Fire Marshal's vehicle, which was searched this Friday. A briefcase was among the items removed from the SUV.

A judge has sealed the search warrants, however.

"Once we retrieve the data, it will be a while, while we analyze that data, before anything happens," said Roche.

Old Saybrook First Selectmen, Carl Fortuna, was unavailable for comment. A message was left for Dobson at his Madison residence.

Police said no arrests will be made today.

The Old Saybrook Fire Department issued a press release making it clear that the fire department and fire marshal's offices are separate entities.

The Town of Old Saybrook released the following statement:

Today, the Old Saybrook Police Department served a search warrant on the towns of Westbrook and Old Saybrook, seeking information from Fire Marshal Donn Dobson. Both towns are fully cooperating.

Public trust in our local government is paramount, and I can assure our residents that we will take all steps necessary to ensure the integrity of those who serve in this community. I will have no further comment until this investigation is concluded. Mr. Dobson will continue to perform routine inspections for the town. More serious incidents will be delegated to deputy fire marshals.