Jeffrey Shawn Hawkins, 40, the assistant clerk in Plainfield Township, and Plainfield Township Firefighter that was arrested last week on charges of accosting children for immoral purposes, was fired from both positions.
The Kent County Sheriff Department began investigating Hawkins after a complaint of soliciting a child for immoral purposes. The solicitation occurred online while the individuals conversed via Facebook. Investigators do not believe the suspect ever had any physical contact with the 15-year-old children involved in the case.
Plainfield Township Supervisor Bob Homan was originally quoted as saying that Hawkins had been suspended without pay and that he thought it best to let the legal process play out. He also said that the township has no policy regarding individuals on the Sex Offender Registry in regards to employment with the township. Hawkins was convicted of criminal sexual conduct fourth degree with a victim between the ages of 13 to 16 on June 3, 1997 in 17th Circuit Court.
According to a statement released by Scott Harvey, Clerk of Plainfield Township, he terminated Hawkins from his position as assistant clerk on Monday, November 10, after previously suspending him on Friday, November 6.
A memo from the Plainfield Fire Department also said that Hawkins was terminated effective Monday, November 10. The memo explained that Hawkins had been employed with the fire department for 16 years as a paid on call firefighter, and that following his prior conviction, steps were taken to limit or eliminate the possibility of him being alone with a minor child. They said they felt at the time that with proper safeguards, he would not be a threat to the public, and that his current activities took place outside his employment as a firefighter, but were still grounds for termination. They also noted that he did not attend the Fall Festival at the East Oakview Elementary School on October 23, with other Plainfield Firefighters, as they previously reported.