Crashing the Golden Valley Fire District’s (GVFD) Christmas Dinner uninvited, shouting obscenities in the presence of children and chest bumping Fire Chief Thomas O’Donohue has resulted in a disorderly conduct citation for the wife of a terminated veteran firefighter. Melody DeMaio, 49, was cited by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office several hours after the December 19 Christmas party held at the GVFD Training Center on Colorado Road. Deputies were summoned as a result of a complaint by O’Donohue, who requested prosecution. The Fire District terminated the employment of Tony DeMaio that same morning. DeMaio had previously been demoted from Captain to Engineer and was fired after 18 years of service to the department. Sheriff’s office reports reflect consistent accounts of Melody DeMaio’s behavior by witnesses including O’Donohue, Assistant Chief Jack Yeager, Yeager’s wife Dena and Fire District Board Chairman Paul Gorham. Each of them told deputies that Melody raised a ruckus after arriving at the Christmas dinner to protest her husband getting the axe, and she refused to leave while lacing her discourse with obscenities. The witnesses said parties were able to escort Melody outside where she got in O’Donohue’s face and chest bumped him near the rear of her vehicle. “She then started screaming he was hitting her,” Deputy Mark Giralde’s report stated. “Jack (Yeager) said he was right there and Thomas (O’Donohue) at no point touched Melody. Thomas had his hands up the entire time.” After conducting witness interviews, deputies visited the DeMaio home in Golden Valley. Melody was not there and her husband was surprised and disappointed when informed of what transpired at the Christmas gathering. “I don’t need this,” Tony DeMaio, said according to deputy R. Chapman’s report. “I already have an attorney working on wrongful termination. I didn’t need her going over there and causing a scene,” DeMaio said, according to the report. Deputies subsequently located Melody in Kingman where she gave her account of what transpired at the District Training center. “She stated that she never touched O’Donohue, and that she only wanted to stand up for what was right. She stated that O’Donohue was a lying, vindictive man who wrongfully fired her husband, and that she was just exercising her 1st Amendment Right to free speech,” Chapman’s report said. “I advised her that her opinion is her’s to have, however the GVFD Christmas party was not the venue to express her opinion. She stated, ‘I know, but I just wanted all those people to know the snake that they’re dealing with'”. Deputy Chapman said cell phone voice recordings and video documenting portions of the Training Center encounter were booked into evidence and that Melody was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The case is pending in Justice Court. It’s the second criminal prosecution brought by O’Donohue in less than a year.
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