Firefighter Unhappy with Discipline of Okla. Chief

July 11--EDMOND -- A veteran firefighter who filed a complaint against Edmond's fire chief said he is preparing to file a grievance because he believes the city manager is unwilling to take appropriate action.

City Manager Larry Stevens said Fire Chief Jake Rhoades has been formally disciplined concerning the complaints by three firefighters of Rhoades allegedly creating a hostile work environment. Stevens declined to comment on the specifics of the complaints or the disciplinary action.

Rhoades also declined comment at this time.

"I took the action that I felt was appropriate after a thorough investigation and review of the complaints," Stevens said.

The city manager said his actions included hiring an outside entity to conduct an independent review and to prepare a formal report. Stevens recently met with Rhoades and reviewed the action with him. He said he also met with the three individuals who filed complaints and shared the same information.

"I cannot share or discuss this report, but the basic complaints of a hostile work environment was not substantiated by the report," Stevens said.

Fire Capt. Vince Pfeiffer, a 31-year member of the Edmond Fire Department, said he discussed the matter with counsel and then decided to take further action.

Thursday afternoon Stevens said the city had not yet seen a related grievance.

In October 2012, Rhoades began his tenure as fire chief. His listed previous positions were deputy fire chief for the Rogers Fire Department, assistant fire chief for Jenks Fire Rescue and training officer for the Stillwater Fire Department. The Edmond fire chief reports to the city manager.

marks@edmondsun.com -- 341-2121, ext. 108

Copyright 2014 - The Edmond Sun, Okla.

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