Buffalo Firefighter Willie Holliday, a registered sex offender, is not expected to face departmental charges because he failed to notify authorities of an address change.
Holliday, 38, of Buffalo, was arrested on a warrant recently after it was determined that he had not informed Buffalo police sex offense squad members of his address change, which is required under state law.
His case has been referred to the Erie County grand jury. The charge in the arrest warrant was a Class E felony, failure to notify police of an address change.
"He's expressed regret for bringing this attention to himself and the department. He regrets everything," Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. said Wednesday. "He is an exemplary employee of the Buffalo Fire Department."
Whitfield said the misdemeanor case from three years ago that landed Holliday as a Level 1 sex offender does not jeopardize his employment with the Fire Department.
But if further developments or new information comes to light that warrants Holliday to be disciplined by the department, that could occur, the commissioner added.
Holliday, Whitfield said, recently moved and overlooked registering.
"That's what this is all about," Whitfield said. "He's come to work every day. He has not tried to flee or hide."
The initial incident involved Holliday's involvement with an underage female with whom he had a relationship. "He was with a person considered underage for an extended period of time. It was not a secret. It was public, and it was not like he was out preying on young kids," Whitfield said in sharing details of the case.
Adding that the conviction on the charge with the underage girl was a misdemeanor, the commissioner explained that if it had been a felony conviction, Holliday, who joined the Fire Department in March 2000, would not have been allowed to continue as a firefighter.
Whitfield pointed out that Holliday also serves on the Fire Department's honor guard. He said that now the matter rests between Holliday and the court system.
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