NBC Bay Area Exclusive: Contra Costa Fire Protection District Captain Jon Wilmot arrested in December for allegedly stealing fire gear and supplies; police seize illegal assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammo from his home and judge orders Wilmot to stay away from Fire District employees and buildings. This story originally aired at 11 p.m on Jan. 21, 2013
For 27 years he was a firefighter for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, but Capt. Jon Wilmot’s career comes to an end amidst intense scrutiny after his arrest on second degree burglary and grand theft charges.
A judge has also granted a workplace violence restraining order against Wilmot, ordering him to stay 100 yards away from all 270 employees of the district, as well as district facilities.
The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered court documents detailing Wilmot’s bizarre behavior over the past eight years, alleging he stole from taxpayers, harassed coworkers and threatened the people he was sworn to serve.
The fire district wrote in a petition for a workplace violence restraining order, “[Wilmot] has made numerous indirect, passive aggressive actions toward members of the Fire District…the behavior accompanied by his large cache of illegal weapons creates a significant concern for all Fire District employees.”
Police searched three homes and five cars belonging to Wilmot, and found expensive firefighting gear including uniforms and power tools.
Investigators also found 53 guns.
According to the district’s petition for the restraining order, during the search of Wilmot’s homes, “a large cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered, many of which were determined to be illegal.
The weapons included 27 handguns, 11 rifles, 15 shotguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Most of the weapons were not registered and many of the rifles were illegal and of the assault rifle type. [Wilmot] also had a large cache of illegal assault rifle magazines... the ATF has initiated an investigation into [Wilmot’s] possession and intentions regarding the recovered weapons and ammunition.”
During an interview with Wilmot after his arrest with investigators, and the search of his property, Wilmot “made several statements regarding his ‘bitterness’ towards the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and its employees for the manner in which he felt he was treated,” according to the petition.
The district began an internal investigation of Wilmot in May of 2012 after employees reported surveillance video and accounts of Wilmot taking fire district equipment that didn’t belong to him.
The petition also reveals erratic and threatening behavior. In one instance, the battalion chief says Wilmot wrote a co-worker’s name on a bullet and gave it to him, and that he stole another firefighter’s uniform in retaliation. Court documents show that uniform, “valued at $2000,” was found in Wilmot’s garage “during a search by the Lafayette Police Department.”
Court papers further reveal multiple police reports involving complaints against Wilmot from the general public.
In one, police say Wilmot “made several threatening phone calls to a woman who had accidentally dialed his phone number and hung up.”
The report says Wilmot “researched her personal information via the Internet and continued to call her,” and that he “made threats of decapitation and various forms of rape.”
Another time police responded when Wilmot used a hammer to threaten a delivery driver over a parking spot, according the petition. Lewis Broschard, fire marshal and spokesperson for the CCFPD, said, “Holding people accountable is something all of our staff wants to see.”
He says the district did what it could and followed policy in its internal investigation of Wilmot and then its referral of the case to the authorities. He said he was not familiar with the details of the past 8 years of alleged erratic and threatening behavior by Wilmot.
We ran into a man leaving one of Wilmot’s homes, but he told us his name was Brad Johnson, and claimed he was a friend of Wilmot’s. Based on a photo later released by the CCFPD, we confirmed it was in fact Wilmot who gave us a false name.
His attorney’s office later called and asked us not to speak with him again.
Wilmot posted his $30,000 bail and retired from the fire district shortly after his arrest in December.
According to the fire district, Wilmot took home “approximately $104,000 in regular salary and approximately $101,000 in overtime [as part of] extra shifts to cover vacancies.”
NBC Bay Area has asked the Contra Costa Employee Retirement Association to provide publicly available information about Wilmot’s pension payments.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office tells us the case will likely head to the DA for review next week.